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Police stepping up vigilance

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The Traffic Department of the Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force (RSVGPF) is intent on being even more vigilant this year, but the officers are also depending on the support of the public to make the roads safer.{{more}}

This call for cooperation has come from Inspector Kenneth John, head of the Traffic Department, following the fatal vehicular accident that took place on December 31 last year.

“For this year, our game will be stepped up because we are taking in what’s going on in the streets.”

Inspector John said that his men are ready and intent on being more vigilant.

Patrols have even been extended to the Grenadines, he said, adding that even senior ranking officers were expected to do patrols.

Despite the stepped up patrols, particularly in rural areas of the country, John called on the general public to assist the Police, especially in reporting vehicles notorious for speeding.

He noted that although speeding has been a problem for his department, increased patrols have proven to be effective.

However, John pointed out that persons tended to abide by the regulations of the road once in the presence of the law, but out of sight, drivers resorted to the usual recklessness.

“So it boils back down to attitude-even that of some of the passengers,” John told SEARCHLIGHT.

“You have a van with 18 passengers, 18 law abiding passengers. 2 or 3 of them can speak to the driver and say ‘Sir you are driving too fast’,” the head of the traffic department contended.

“We are aware that there are some passengers who encourage the drivers to speed,” he further stated.

“We are asking for everyone’s support in making the road safe.”

He assured members of the public that once reports are made, the Police will deal with the matter.

Nevertheless, it was proving difficult for law enforcement to charge persons with speeding as the department lacks radar guns to track speeds, John said.

He also spoke on the issue of overcrowding in mini-buses and said that the Police were particularly interested in clamping down on this practice.

“We don’t make joke when it comes to excess passengers. We are not taking (any) chances with it,” the Inspector explained, saying that drivers and conductors will be ticketed for the offence.

This was common among vans carrying students, John said, noting that most often, students were put to sit on the laps of others.

And although efforts are made to elude the police by those guilty of the illegal and unsafe practice, John said his men were very cognizant of this.

John said that he was calling on the relevant authorities to introduce a points system as a deterrent to reckless driving.

“If you trace some of the drivers, some of them have multiple convictions some reaching as high as 50 or 60,” he told SEARCHLIGHT.

John further explained that this system would allow for action to be taken after a specified number of violations and suggested that permanent action be taken, such as the revocation of a driver’s license for repeated offenders.(DD)

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