The Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) is reporting a 19% decrease in fatal road traffic accidents (RTAs).
In a release on Tuesday, the TTPS stated that between January 1 and June 30, the country has recorded 55 road deaths as a result of RTAs, when compared to 68 for the same period in 2019.
However, the release did not say if the decrease in the number of vehicles on the nation's roadways during COVID-19 lockdown period, especially in the months of April and May, where many motorists were discouraged from being on the roads, with some even being chased back home by police officers, contributed to the declined experienced.
The release also stated that 1,300 motorists were ticketed for various traffic offences since the launch of the UTURN Traffic Enforcement, E-ticketing system in May.
As a result, the State is expected to receive a total of $1.3 million in fixed penalty fines issued to drivers and front seat passengers who failed to buckle up while commuting in a vehicle. Offending drivers also incurred four demerit points for failing to adhere to this road regulation.
And in its most recent road regulation enforcement exercises on Friday, the Traffic and Highway Patrol Branch’s Road Policing Task Force (RPTF) issued 126 electronic fixed penalty notices to drivers for exceeding speed limits, failing to wear seatbelts, driving while using a mobile phone, driving a motor vehicle without an identification light illuminating the registration plate, and driving a vehicle at night with one headlight.
During the exercises, 12 drivers were arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) offences, with one driver producing a reading of 119 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath. This reading more than three times the legal limit of 35 microgrammes of alcohol.
The exercises were conducted along the Beetham Highway, the Churchill Roosevelt Highway and the Uriah Bulter Highway. Officers also conducted exercises along some of the major roads in East Trinidad, in areas such as Dinsley, Arouca, Orange Grove, Tacarigua, and Caura.
Serving as the driving thrust behind the TTPS' road policing efforts, the RPTF hope the exercises will act as a deterrent to motorists, further decreasing the 19% reduction in fatal road traffic accidents achieved thus far.
Meanwhile, TTPS Traffic Safety Coordinator, Sgt Brent Batson, expressed his disappointment that many motorists were still receiving tickets for seatbelt offences.
Sgt Batson stated that the TTPS will soon be commencing the ‘Sit, Click & Drive’ awareness programme under the umbrella of its iRoadsafe Education and Awareness Campaign, aimed at helping road users practice safer and more responsible behaviour, and avoid points on their driver’s permits.