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2005-08-31 08:06:13

Police Crack Down On Traffic Laws Violators

According to officials, the goal of the initiative was to heighten the awareness of motorists to traffic laws in time for the back to school rush.

With the traffic fatality count in the country for the year now at 42, traffic police cited 94 drivers who were reportedly in violation of traffic laws on Tuesday in random vehicle checks at three major thoroughfares in New Providence.

According to officials, the goal of the initiative was to heighten the awareness of motorists to traffic laws in time for the back to school rush.

Checkpoints for the initiative were set up at various points on the Cable Beach Strip, Gladstone Road, and Charles W. Saunders Highway.

Police Sergeant Marlon Fulford, investigation supervisor in the traffic division, told the Bahama Journal that traffic cops focused on motorists who were speeding, had dark tints, or did not have adequate licenses. But he indicated that speeding remains a pivotal concern.

"The majority of persons we reported this morning were exceeding the speed limit," Sergeant Fulford said. "There was a total of 67 persons who were exceeding the speed limit and this was by a great number.

"There were persons in the 25 mile per hour zone who exceeded by up to 52 miles per hour. This is a problem we see where the majority of the fatalities that occurred so far for the year have been as a result of speed.

"As school nears its opening on Monday, we advise persons to exercise extreme caution, especially in high congested areas where there is pedestrian traffic as well as motorists. We will be out on the streets in [great] numbers, especially in school zones where the speed limit is 15 miles per hour between the hours of 7:30am and 9am and then again at 2:45pm until 4pm."

Road Traffic Controller Jack Thompson was pleased with the initiative.

Just last week, traffic officers from his department held similar checks to crack down on jitney drivers who break the law. They were searching for drivers who were out of uniforms, had dark tints on their buses, deviated from their routes, and failed to have proper licenses.

Mr. Thompson said yesterday's effort was a part of a collaborative effort between various government agencies to decrease traffic fatalities.

"I've been saying all along that we [police and road traffic officials] are working hand in hand in an effort to crack down on all of the various infractions which are noticeable [and] some not so noticeable on our streets," Mr. Thompson said.

"The initiative speaks to the enforcement aspect of our four-pronged approach toward dealing with the high fatality numbers in The Bahamas. We have said that we wanted to attack this issue from four dimensions, namely education, engineering, enforcement, and legislation.

"I am confident that these checks would be on a sustained basis. We are saddened by the fact that our fatality rate is really high, at 42, and it's only the end of August."

Mr. Thompson once again cautioned public service drivers to adhere to traffic laws.

He indicated that the Road Traffic Department has a zero tolerance policy toward drivers who endanger the lives of passengers by not adhering to traffic rules.

Perez Clarke, The Bahama Journal

 
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