Acting Inspector Roland Cobbler and Acting Assistant Superintendent of Police Ronald Stanford. (Picture by Carlos Atwell.)
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Pull over and get out if you want to answer your cellphone.
Police made it clear yesterday that there’s to be no sitting in the vehicle, even if it has stopped in order to talk on the device.
During a press conference at their Roebuck Street, The City, headquarters, the Royal Barbados Police Force sought to clear up any confusion about the use of mobile devices but it only served to fuel public debate over social media.
Head of the traffic division, Acting Assistant Superintendent Ronald Stanford, said mobile phones, barring a hands free mechanism, were not to be used when a motorist is in their car.
“There have been a lot of queries about using cellphones after pulling off on the side of the road but the law is pretty strict about that; also because you are actually still driving. As long as you are in control of your vehicle and the levers which cause motion, then you are still driving so the only way you are going to be able to use your cellphone is if you are going to actually get out of your vehicle – if you are behind the steering wheel, technically you are still driving,” he said.
This statement raised some incredulity among the assembled journalists as previously it was thought pulling off the road was sufficient, which was followed by word motorists had to also turn off the engine. This prompted Stanford to read from the amended Road Traffic Act Section 2 which defines driving as “having control over the steering, movement and propulsion of the motor vehicle” and driver as “a person in charge of a motor vehicle for the purpose of driving, where the vehicle is stationary on the road”. (CA)
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