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Police are warning drivers that the overcrowding of vehicles (carrying more persons than the vehicle was designed to carry) is an extremely dangerous practice, that places the lives of both the passengers and driver at risk, as well as other road users.

For this year, 65 persons have lost their lives in road traffic crashes compared to 90 for the same period last year.

On Sunday a serious accident in the Central Division involving a vehicle which was overcrowded with nine victims, six children and three adults, resulted in all the victims suffering serious injuries, including brain trauma, spinal and abdominal trauma and multiple fractures.

The victims were taken to hospital for treatment and officers of the Couva Police Station are continuing investigations.

Overcrowding of a motor vehicle is an offence under the Motor Vehicles and Road Traffic Act, Chapter 48:50, under Regulation 38 Rule 16 carrying a fine of TT$1,000 and three demerit points.

Road Safety Coordinator, Sgt. Brent Batson, warned drivers that overcrowding vehicles can compromise the safe operations of a motor vehicle by negatively affecting its steering, suspension and braking capabilities due to excessive weight, elements essential to maintaining vehicle control.

The vehicle involved in the accident, an AD Wagon, is licensed for five persons including the driver and having an additional five persons, places the occupants and other road users at extremely high risk, as evidenced by the multiple injuries sustained in the collision due to the unrestrained occupants.

Everyone has an important role to support road safety to save lives and keep families together.

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