Our Readers' Opinions
June 24, 2016
Our roads, traffic and road safety

Editor: The roads in St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) are in an extremely bad state; they are in serious need of repair. It’s very clear that the Ministry of Transport/Works needs to do a lot more; sometimes I wonder why we drivers pay taxes.{{more}}

Is it that the Government has no money to fix our roads?


Dr Gonsalves keeps saying after the airport is finished our roads will be fixed, so I can’t wait for the airport to be finished, so we can get the roads fixed.

At this particular time of year, we get visitors from various parts of the world and they rent vehicles so they can explore SVG, but due to the state of our roads, they are finding difficulty getting around to our sites of interest.

It’s a shame, after doing so much to encourage visitors to travel here, they face so many challenges locating the spots of interest because of the state of our roads. Sometimes, I wonder where we are heading with our tourism product.

Good roads are very important if we are to remain competitive in the tourism business. Other aspects which need to be improved are: the placing of road signs; providing speed limits; making sure the traffic laws are enforced; having well trained traffic police officers; increasing mobile patrols; and prosecuting persons who drive without paying their driver’s licence. We need to ensure that these measures are put in place. There is an extremely alarming number of unlicensed vehicles on our roads; don’t mention uninsured vehicles, it’s truly a crisis. Something needs to be done to ensure that these practices are discontinued by motorists on the road.

Drivers need to drive for each other; this is something that would make our roads safe. Be considerate to your fellow drivers, be cautious and always be safe. Vincentians and visitors should use the pedestrian crossings wisely; this is an issue that needs to be dealt with, as it is a great safety risk. Many pedestrians abuse the crossing and are very abusive to drivers. The issue of drivers operating vehicles with defective tires is another serious issue that needs to be dealt with. Too many accidents are caused because of smooth tires. Also, one must or should wait a period of five years with a driver’s licence before operating a public service vehicle, taxi or public transportation. We see too many accidents because of inexperienced drivers; let’s reduce the number by putting restrictions.

The issue of persons who are learning to drive during peak hours is a serious issue as well. The traffic police officers should ensure that persons who are learning to drive do so in the hours that police have instructed. It not only affects the flow of traffic during peak hours, but it is a safety issue, as it is busier during peak hours. I’m hoping Superintendent of Police Kenneth John, who’s responsible for our road safety puts in the extra effort; Vincentians and visitors depend on you, sir. We expect you and your traffic department to ensure that the traffic laws are maintained, so our lives would be safer on the roads of SVG.

For this year so far, too many accidents are happening on our roads. While they are called accidents, most of them could have been avoided. If we, as drivers, try harder and abide by the traffic laws, it will definitely make our roads safer for Vincentians and visitors. How can the traffic police make our roads safer? Firstly, they can try being more respectful, firm and tough on persons who break the law. That would definitely make a big difference on what we do on the road. So, as a driver, I’m asking all road users to please be considerate. Please!

Everyone knows that the biggest abusers of the roads are the minivan drivers and conductors.

Kingsley De Freitas