Consultation on road safety gets underway in Dominica

Some of those who participated in the consultation
Some of those who participated in the consultation

In an effort to highlight the importance of practicing road safety a National Consultation on the Decade of Action on Road Safety got underway in Dominica on Thursday.

“This is done in an effort to increase and maintain public awareness of the significance of maintaining and practising road safety,” Head of Traffic Division, ASP Robertson Laurent said while addressing the opening ceremony.

He pointed out that data shows over the past five years, except for 2013, one child between the ages of 5 and 14 died due to traffic accidents per year in Dominica.

Laurent said road safety is no accident
Laurent said road safety is no accident

He said one child’s death per year due to traffic crashes is one too many.

“Each road fatality particularly, within the 5 to 14 age group, begs us as drivers, policy makers and concerned citizens to ask ourselves, is the environment enough to control speeding on our roads to reduce drunk driving or to ensure that our children being transported are protected by law?” he noted.

Additionally he asked, “Are our traffic laws regulations sufficient and enforceable? Are our children adequately prepared and supervised regarding safe road use?”

He stated the World Health Organization (WHO) reports that around the globe there is no greater threat to the lives of children between the ages of 15 and 17 years than road traffic crashes.

“Every four minutes a child is prematurely lost on the roads around the world and with many more injured,” Laurent stated. “Our presence here today signals not only our commitment, but also our responsibility to assist in road safety … road safety is no accident”

The consultation is being organized as part of the 3rd Annual Road Safety Week of activities, observed from the 4th to 10th of May under the theme: “Save Kids Lives.”

It is being held in collaborations with the Violence and Injury Surveillance System (VISS) Committee, the Ministry of Health and Environment and the Police Traffic Department.

Dominicam through the VISS Committee launched a decade of action on road safety in 2011 and since then has remained committed to ensuring road safety week is observed annually.

Recently a series of traffic accidents occurred in Dominica, some fatally.

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  1. concerned
    May 9, 2015

    there are a few persons missing!!!! a few vocal bus/truck drivers, strategically chosen to bring back the message. the driving instructor etc.

    HAts off to the Petro caribe team for organizing the only defensive driving training that i know of on island.

  2. Francisco Telemaque
    May 8, 2015

    Dominica is a place where people relish the chance to get on TV, and in newspaper to talk crap! What can these people say that is going to prevent a man or woman who is an alcoholic from driving while inebriated?

    I have never seen a any manual written with the rules and regulation that a driver should follow in Dominica upon learning to drive. That should be mandatory; when someone wish to learn to drive they are tutored by friends, who might well be drunken.

    If there are written rules to follow, on the day of the drivers test; the prospective driver is questioned on the legal rules of driving, that person should get more than 80% of the questions correct prior to be taken on the road to test their driving skills.

    In Dominica, in Dominica there are lots of illiterate people, can’t read or write people driving, they feel indispensable, they believe they have a skill no one else has, that boots their ego, hence they show-off in the process killing themselves, and the innocent…

  3. Anonymous
    May 8, 2015

    addressing the problem would be researching the issues at hand which i believe has a lot to do with culture along with poor design of roads. are there any data been collected in terms of causes of accidents along with resolutions to the causes? take a look at the roads been renovated they’re surfaced smoothed but are they properly aligned; are there measures in place to control the flow of traffic where required; super-elevations etc. are the engineers who design those roads qualified enough to do so plus what construction code do they follow? many questions which this consultation apparent ignored, so how is this been addressed?

    • Francisco Telemaque
      May 9, 2015

      What data is needed?

      The problem is simple, the island is rugged, the roads are narrow okay! In areas where people should be driving less than twenty miles per hour, we find vehicles traveling at all kinds of ridiculous speed, more than sixty, and eighty miles per hour.

      I reside in Los Angeles California, I have driven across the entire United States. In most places in any city, when driving pass a school, the sped limit is 25 miles per hour. Normal speed limit elsewhere is 35 miles per hour. On the Freeways it varies between 40, 60, 65, and 70 miles per hour.

      The only place I’ve ever seen the speed limit is 80 miles per hour is on Interstate 10, in an area between San Antonio, Texas, El Paso Texas. When we exceed sped limits here and caught we pay plenty, in addition to accumulating points on our driving record, making our insurance premium very high!

      • Francisco Telemaque
        May 9, 2015

        ” between San Antonio, Texas, El Paso Texas.”

        I meant between San Antonio Texas, and El Paso Texas.

        Remember now when driving on most Interstate Freeways, there are literally hundreds, of miles of freeway ahead of you, no hills, or mountains, or winding roads with blind corners. It is all flat. I have sports cars which top speed registered almost three hundred miles per hour, if someone own a car like that in Dominica, I am sure the person would be dead the first day they took it on the road.

        One day I risk it and took it up to 130 miles per hour, I saw death in my eye, and had to quickly remove my foot from the gas peddle, the sucker kept flying. The police chased some in Texas some time ago, is one precisely like min, and that sucker disintegrated under the driver.

        He lived anyway, divine intervention I believe saved him!

    • Anthony P. Ismael
      May 9, 2015

      The issues you mentioned are quite important. However, road safety has been low on the scale of importance in Dominica for decades now. It’s only now that they’re paying attention to this issue and only after a recent spate of fatalities within a two week period.

      Speed and reckless driving are the standard reasons doled out for all accidents. As a result, other contributing factors such as: road design, alignment, vehicle road worthiness, drunken driving etc are ignored.

  4. UK Dominica
    May 8, 2015

    Yes Yes Yes know it all . we are not thieves until we are caught. IN DA all of you drive bad considering our roads I wonder

  5. Tyre hit de road
    May 8, 2015

    Deal with the real Problems …Dominica need Police with Ryder to catch speeders that will slow the Drivers down . Speed sounds like a contributing factor to most of the accidents in Dominica.

    And smooth tires on vehicles should we taken into account also; Just look at overturned vehicles they are smooth most of the time.

  6. Love All
    May 8, 2015

    If we are talking road safety how on earth the authorities allow public transport including buses transporting school children to use the POINT MULARTE to PETITE SAVANNE road for that purpose. Why are the people from public works are not included in the consultation.

  7. The Facts
    May 7, 2015

    Ring it in their ears, the importance of driving safely which will keep them, the other drivers, passengers including pedestrians free of accidents, injuries and fatalities.
    Drivers: You are not the only driver on the road nor are you king or queen of the road. Therefore, consider other drivers and their right on the road.
    Obey road regulations. Do not exceed the speeding limit.
    When driving, keep a safe distance away from the vehicle ahead of you, in the event the driver ahead brakes suddenly. Keep in mind, brakes and tires could fail.
    Do not overtake and especially when driving around a corner. If it is necessary to overtake, ensure it is safe to do so, i.e., the coast is clear prior to overtaking.
    Be patient! Do not be in a hurry. For safety sakes, stay in the lane you are driving in.
    The motto: “if you drink, don’t drive. If you drive, don’t drink.
    Drive safely and stay safe. Stay awake, well and alive.”

  8. The Facts
    May 7, 2015

    Prevention is better than cure. Too many accidents and too many die on the roads especially young ones. Precious lives are lost due to carelessness and inconsideration for other drivers. Injuries occur which could also maim the victims for life.
    During driving instructions, road safety must be emphasized.
    When vehicle licenses are being renewed, road safety should also be emphasized.
    Place conspicuous signs for speed limits on roads and highways.
    Ensure vehicles are roadworthy. They must be inspected.
    From time to time, conduct a vehicle blitz for road-worthiness.
    A breathalyzer test should be mandatory for those who specifically cause accidents and exceed the driving limit.
    Seat belts must be enforced. A fine should be imposed on those who fail to wear them. Buckle up!

  9. Titiwi
    May 7, 2015

    I really hope this is not just another talk shop. There is nothing we have to reinvent. Apply best practices from elsewhere and apply the law. We need less talk and more action.

  10. smh
    May 7, 2015

    FIrst build proper sidewalks where EVERYONE can walk or roll. Then MAINTAIN the roads we pay taxes for. Patch work is NOT acceptable as it only uneven the roads and as noticed only temporarily fixes. (What happen the chinese machinery they used on EO Leblanc.) Next have proper street lights after you have cleared all the over growing bush growing from the drains obscuring the or vision of where the road actually ends and the gutters begin. WE are our own problems. Also create signs with lighting if need be that people can actually read so that the people who drive like they dont know where they are going can actually figure out their way without doing nonsense on the road (slowing down then speeding up, turning like they dont want to turn or not sure if to turn). Its like our politicians, engineers, public works heads etc dont see the nonsense. WE have lost our Class as a country. Why is it only before cricket or creole fest or xmas or some big event that we see public works scrambling

  11. The Authorities
    May 7, 2015

    We have received numerous communication stating that police officers on and off duty may have been perpetrators violating our traffic laws.
    Unless in code 3 (with flashing lights and siren) all police officers are required to abide by all traffic laws otherwise it’s a reckless act. When a civilian witnesses an officer driving recklessly, the “if he can then I can too” attitude is adopted. Sometimes this is the root cause of accidents.
    The increased acceptability of violating any law needs to be curbed from within the force itself.
    Given our relatively small community, off-duty officers need to realize they still carry the responsibility of representing the entire force.
    It is sad that a few irresponsible officers can make the entire force look bad.
    Let’s respect and uphold our laws in order to save lives.

  12. May 7, 2015

    Sir I respect your vues but this chatting is not of much help to the adult drivers…first of all there is a speed culture in dominica especially by bus drivers,in order to get the most passengers ..I have witness drivers who refuses to park in a difficult position on the road because they have the priority and put the lives of the on coming vehicle occupants in danger,start from point-mitchel to scotts-head there is almost no traffic sign and so it is all over the island,no speed limit road signs,danger,direction ,many more which are important for all especially strangers..the cross road in loubiere is very dangerous,after the harbour towards canefield also .Bumps ,children crossing signs should be placed infront every school, speed limit,drivers should be fined in order to deter lawlessness on the road,very worn bald tyres should be illigal to drive with, home made seats on buses ,no sit belts ,there is a huge job to be done concerning traffic regulation and violation in D.A.

  13. Wayne
    May 7, 2015

    I have to laugh.. Look at the people in the pic… That’s the ppl when the accident is all over. Where are the bus drivers an the every day ppl.. But again its Dominica.

    • The Facts
      May 7, 2015

      The time of day may not have been appropriate for them since they operate buses. Others may have been at work. How much notice were they given to attend this meeting?

    • anaonymous
      May 8, 2015

      They are not present because you of all persons know they are out making their money and driving recklessly because the bus fare is the value of your life.

      • OneDestiny
        May 8, 2015

        You are so right..?A couple months ago, I had the occasion of witnessing something rather amusing to me. Bus drivers usually driving to parts south of Roseau are some of the most reckless and disrespectful…this one particular incident though was awesome. Normally it’d take this particular driver less than 20 mins to get from Roseau to parts south of Roseau but on that evening, he happened to have a few “non locals” on board, one sitting at the front with him…that night I swear I wasn’t going to get home in less than an hour. Even to overtake on the road was done with such precaution that I almost jumped out of my skin. I couldn’t help but smile inwardly all the way home….so that you mentioned the bus fare and the price of our lives, to those who drive us daily, our lives are worthless

  14. Dan Tanner
    May 7, 2015

    Many vehicles are not roadworthy, But the police don’t care. Chances are the owner is a cop’s friend or relative. I have never seen road safety enforced.

    • Anthony P. Ismael
      May 7, 2015

      Every vehicle should be inspected by a mechanic before it passes inspection. What passes for vehicle inspection in Dominica is a joke. There is no way that a police officer from the traffic department can ascertain the road worthiness of vehicle, using the current practices.

    • The Facts
      May 7, 2015

      They must overlook familiarity and perform their work satisfactorily. People’s lives are at stake when they ignore safety factors.

  15. Trevor Fabien
    May 7, 2015

    The favourite words of those Dominican slackers are, Implementation, Consultation, Strategy and Protocol. Fancy words with little action and bountiful inaction.

    Gold medal for inaction goes to Dominica. Well Done :lol:

  16. Anthony P. Ismael
    May 7, 2015

    Too many lives were lost, before this committee came together. However, better late than never. Road safety is everyone’s business. We need to start teaching our children safe road practices from kindergarten onwards.

    Police officers must be visible at all times. No one and I repeat no one should be riding in the back of a pick up truck. Motor Cyclists need to wear helmets. And “Seat Belts” must also be worn at all times. Children under nine years old need to ride in the back seat and a “Booster Seat” must be mandatory. Babies must be placed in “Car Seats.”

    Parents are prohibited from taking home their new born babies if they do not have the appropriate child safety seat in the US. Safety at home has to be a working solution across the board. Finally, every new driver must complete a safe driving course before they are issued with a driver’s license. Bus drivers should complete a special driving safety course before they can transport passengers.

    • anaonymous
      May 8, 2015

      Had you taken your time to read you would have been informed that VISS was formed in 2011. Stop being cynical.

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