August 19, 2016
ASP Kenwood Taylor is pictured along with traffic officers at one of the island’s traffic fatality scenes for 2016. (Photo: TFN Files)
The Rotary Club of Lucaya partnered with Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) Traffic Division on Tuesday, August 16, 2016 in an effort to sensitize the Grand Bahama community of exercising due care and attention while driving.
RBPF Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Kenwood Taylor delivering a pertinent address on the topic, ‘Road safety and working together to reduce fatalities and traffic accidents,’ disclosed, “In 2015, the RBPF Traffic Police Department investigated just over 900 traffic accidents with 14 resulting in fatalities, while 221 reported accidents ended with most persons sustaining injuries that were non life threatening.
“Driving without due care and attention or defensively and without exercising courtesy to other road users, has proven to be the root cause of traffic accidents on Grand Bahama.
“Furthermore, it is a very selfish act to drive while engaged in other activities such as looking after children, texting, talking on the cellphone or to a passenger, watching videos, eating, smoking or applying make-up, as these activities take the driver’s attention away from the road, compromising the safety of all drivers, passengers and bystanders.”
Seven traffic fatalities have occurred on the streets of Grand Bahama within the past eight months and ASP Taylor, along with the Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA) City Management Department and the Grand Bahama Road Safety Committee are diligently working to ensure everyone realizes that one life lost due to negligent driving is indeed one too many.
Careful to note that the average weight of a mid-size vehicle is 4,000 lb., which is equivalent to two tons, ASP Taylor said that a car is simply not a mode of transportation, as if operated incorrectly by a distracted driver could make it a deadly weapon.
“Distracted driving coupled with speeding, which is considered the number one cause of fatal accidents along with drinking and texting has claimed the lives of too many of our loved ones on our the streets over the years.
“With this in mind, it is imperative that we continue to work with you our partners in an effort to reduce the amount of traffic accidents and save lives.
“In February of this year, RBPF Commissioner of Police Ellison Greenslade released the Policing Plan for 2016 and under Section 4 (Safety and Security of the Public), it gives us a list of strategic objectives, which the Traffic Department has been mandated to execute including reducing the number of fatal and serious accidents through traffic enforcement and accident prevention education.
“A number of initiatives to target drivers, pedestrians and school students are being devised along with the Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA) City Management Department, RBPF Traffic Police Depart-ment and the Grand Bahama Road Safety Committee (GBRS) as well as other stakeholders including the GBRS Committee Annual Essay and Speech Competition, which brought a number of school students together to submit essays on the topic, “Making our roads safer for all road users” that proved to be a resounding success.
“The competition allowed us from the RBPF Traffic Police Department to identify and create initiatives to better promote road safety for the youth of Grand Bahama as well as enabled us to begin this process during our recent Annual Police summer Camp where our safety presentation was well received.
“We were also able to sensitize the motoring public with respect to the proper use of the roundabouts on Coral Road and East Sunrise Highway and Britannia and East Sunrise Highway that were recently installed as well as distribute safety pamphlets on how to properly use the roundabouts to motorists and by way of social media.
“Furthermore, we partnered with the GBPA City Manager Troy McIntosh to produce a Public Service Announcement (PSA) educating the motoring public on the correct use of the roundabouts and I have recently received the finished product and hope to begin airing very soon,” said ASP Taylor.
Admonishing the citizenry that in order to reduce the amount of accidents on the streets of Grand Bahama it is imperative that all road users be properly educated and trained in proper road safety and driving etiquette, ASP Taylor urged Rotarians and guests to learn defensive driving techniques and proper road safety skills, drive within the required speed limit, properly adhere to all road signs, exercise courtesy to other road users and petition to have a Driver’s Education and Defensive Driving Introduction Course implemented in all our high schools as a part of the curriculum, which would give all up- and-coming young drivers a chance to learn good driving habits at an early stage in their lives.
By ensuring that these practices are implemented, ASP Taylor said it would help to significantly reduce traffic incidents and accidents on our streets.
Thanking Rotary Club of Lucaya President Carol Rolle, all Rotarians and their traffic partners for their continued to commitment and support to rendering service above self to those in need, ASP Taylor said he is forever grateful for the civic organization’s endorsement of the Most Courteous Driver Award initiative and pledge to be proactive in our identification of the recipients.
“On behalf of our Commissioner Greenslade and Senior Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Emrick Seymour, Officer-in-Charge of Grand Bahama and the Northern Bahamas therefore, we thank you for this opportunity that Rotary made available for us to reinforce our partnership and make the streets of this island safe.
By: Sharell Lockhart
Source: Freeport News/Guardian