August 09, 2017
It was only two weeks ago that I issued my inaugural road safety message, and it pains me greatly today, in the face of our most recent fatalities in Grand Bahama, to again caution persons using our streets as motorists and pedestrians, to do so with the utmost care and attention.
It is always a tragedy when persons lose their lives in road incidents, particularly in cases where they have come to The Bahamas to enjoy all that this country offers. I wish to express my great sympathy to the families of the visitors who lost their lives on the streets of Grand Bahama this past August Monday, and to all of the family members of persons who have lost their lives in road traffic fatalities, on the streets in The Bahamas over the past several weeks.
I call on all motorists and pedestrians alike, to pay particular attention to persons who are not normal road users, and who may lack familiarity with the rules of our roads. I also call on all transportation providers engaged in the business of transporting or leasing vehicles, or motor cycles to visitors and locals alike, to ensure that all efforts are expended to protect the lives of persons entrusted to their care. This note of caution is sent in a special way to all rental car, scooter rental, taxi, tour, and jitney bus operators, and to persons engaged in transporting persons in horse and carriages. Please take the time to ensure that your customers understand clearly what is expected of them on our roads.
Additionally, I once again remind all of the need to obey the following simple rules of the road:
Use pedestrian crossings rather than crossing at any point on the road
Drivers must stop once a pedestrian steps on to the crossing
Drivers must not overtake on or near pedestrian crossings or park their vehicles on or near a crossing
Obey the maximum speed limits posted on our roads, Where there are no posted speed limit signs, the maximum speed limit is 25 mph within the city, and 45 mph on highways
Lower speed in bad weather, during heavy traffic and at nights, especially on unlit roads
Follow at a safe distance, at least one car length behind the vehicle in front of you
Do not drink and drive and always identify a Designated Driver who will not consume alcohol
Always wear your seat belts
Do not utilize mobile phones while driving
When riding on the back of a truck, sit on the bed of the truck, and not on the railings.
Very shortly, the Road Traffic Department’s Back to School Road Safety program will be launched. I therefore appeal to all road users to commit in a special way to exercising good road safety practices to ensure the safety of all, but particularly the safety of our young people as they return to their schools and colleges in a few short weeks.