Our Readers' Opinions
May 6, 2005

Enforce the use of seat-belts

Editor: It is with great concern that I present this issue to you. For years St.Vincent and the Grenadines has been struggling to keep its head above water when it comes to our public roads.

There has hardly ever been a time when all the main roads in St.Vincent from windward to leeward were in “accordance” all at once. Nonetheless, our roadways, even as perfect as they can be, just aren’t being used safely enough. It is quite difficult for anyone living in SVG who travel daily on our roads to see how treacherous the journeys can be, depending on the location. {{more}}

The bottom line is that we need more stringent traffic laws to help control the way in which our public roads are used. The roads are what they are, but what we need is stricter traffic laws to ensure that the roads are used in accordance with traffic safety laws. We can’t afford to have the wide highways as we would like, but even that might worsen the situation when it comes to the safety of travellers. Specifically and without mentioning the unsafe speeds at which some vehicles travel, we need to enforce the use of seat-belts. Accidents are going to happen regardless of what the road conditions are, but what shouldn’t happen all the time is the accidental lost of lives.

Seat-belts are installed in vehicles for a reason, one that Vincentians don’t seem to appreciate. As a matter of fact, anyone seen wearing a seat-belt might become the subject of laughter. We absolutely need to change the way we think and do what is absolutely necessary to hold those persons who abuse our roadways accountable for their actions.

Anyone involved in an accident found to be not wearing a seat-belt where necessary should face stiff penalties, especially if the accident resulted in the death of another passenger or anyone else. However, before we can enforce a seat-belt law, we must inspect and ensure that all vehicles on our public roads are fully equipped with functioning seat-belts.

I challenge the government to take action as soon as possible. “Action” here could also mean stimulating insurance companies to offer incentives to the people who agree to buckle up.