Police have recorded 16 fatalities from 14 road accidents to date.
Assistant Superintendent of Police Adolphus Herbert, attached to the traffic department, told St Lucia News Online (SNO) in an exclusive interview yesterday, September 8 that the figure is a definite concern for the department and the country.
Relating to the most recent road fatality where a cyclist was killed by a truck, Herbert said the incident is an unfortunate one. He however noted that there are regulations that govern the use of bicycles at nights.
He explained that traversing the roadways with bicycles after 7 p.m. is not only unlawful, but puts motorist at risk.
Herbert said: “You must have lights attached and reflectors to the back of the bike if you have to ride it at night. Most persons do not adhere to that which many times lead to accidents on the roadways.”
The assistant superintendent said the increase in road fatalities is mostly as result of careless driving, negligence and ignorance of the law, speeding, and in some cases, driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI).
“We can tell people how to behave, but when they get behind the wheel it’s a total different behaviour. Most persons tend not to adhere to the rule and regulations of the road and it’s a concern,” Herbert added.
When asked to comment on the reported DUI cases, Herbert said it’s a very touchy issue and a tedious process. He said the department would usually confirm cases of DUI through blood and urine samples at any medical centres.
However, the senior police explained that there have been a setback in the proper execution of these cases due to some problems encountered at the medical institution. “We are working to remedy that issue at the medical centres, but it’s a work in progress.”
Herbert has advised persons to exercise caution when using the road ways. “We keep on reiterating to persons to don’t drink and drive, you don’t drive for yourself, you drive for others and you must adhere to the road regulations.”
Commuters are asked to follow the rules governing the road ways by driving within speed limits of 55 miles per hour (Mph) on the major highways and 35 mph within any community.
Drivers are also advised to stay within 20-30 feet away from the vehicle in front; attempts to overtake other vehicle at street corners or intersections are strictly prohibited.
Stephen Joseph and known as Regan of Bexon is the most recent road fatality victim.
It was reported that the accident involved a wrecker trailer driven by Omega Ettiene of La Grace, Laborie and the pedal cyclist on Sunday, September 7 on the Bexon Highway, near the Deglos Gap, at about 7: 20 p.m.
As a result of the impact, Joseph sustained serious injuries and was transported to Victoria Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.