Minimizing road accidents

shadiasimpson, shadiasimpson@nationnews.com

Added 13 October 2012

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HOW DO YOU make sense of the untimely death of three relatively young male motorcyclists in the last three weeks? How do you comfort the family and loved ones of Michael Sylvester Clarke of Fairview, Christ Church, who tragically lost his life on the morning of Tuesday, September 25, in Six Roads, St Philip, on the motorcycle he had promised his uncle that he was going to sell and buy a car? What can you say to ease the burden of Rudy Sheldon Vaughn’s loved ones after his severed arm lay in the road while the motorcycle and his body were found in a nearby field after the 37-year-old of Date Tree Hill, St Peter resident was in a collision with a pickup at Gay’s Road in the same parish? And how do you lessen the agony of those close to the loved ones of teenager Ival Tafari Grosvenor of Sherwood Heights, Pinder’s Gap, Howell’s Cross Road, St Michael, who died on the Pine East-West Boulevard, St Michael, on Thursday night when the motorcycle he was riding was involved in an accident with a car? When someone is sick and later dies, at least there is an opportunity for loved ones to prepare for their departure. And this is even for the youngest victim. Yes, there is still grief, but at least it is not as traumatic as if the loved one is suddenly snatched from you possibly moments after leaving your presence. But such are the uncertainties of life. Of course, some would argue that how one uses the road matters, and this is particularly so for motorcyclists as these vehicles have no protective features like seat belts. The key, though, is how they are ridden. These days too many motorcyclists, and even bicyclists, perform stunts like riding with the front wheel airborne on our busy streets while travelling at high speeds. It is now commonplace, too, for them to overtake lines of vehicles at high speeds without seeming to worry that one of the cars may have to turn right onto another road. These are just two complaints about motorcyclists’ engaging in dangerous practices that can contribute to accidents and the unnecessary loss of life. It must be said that such behaviour is consistent with a growing indiscipline within our society that is exhibited in just about every walk of life. This indiscipline is something that we as a society must address. Such is the severity of the situation that it cannot be left to only the police and the courts to manage. It extends to the homes, schools, churches and other spheres of influence. But essentially it is up to every individual who uses our roads, whether pedestrian, cyclist or driver, to understand that they have a responsibility to themselves, their loved ones and other Barbadians to keep themselves safe. In order to do this, they must respect and abide by the road traffic regulations. We urge all Barbadians to honour the deaths of these three motorcyclists by using the road in a manner that would minimize accidents and prevent any further loss of life.

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