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Top cop wants firm DUI laws

Barry Alleyne

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It’s time for Barbados to finally get drunk-driving legislation in place says Inspector Leon Blades.And drivers who are found at fault in serious accidents should have to undergo retraining before being allowed to renew insurance policies. The Royal Barbados Police Force’s Traffic Division administrator believes.Blades, who is also a qualified driving instructor and former traffic patrolman, made the calls yesterday while producing a number of proposals that would improve road safety in Barbados.The cop was one of the featured presenters at a road safety seminar organised by the force in collaboration with the General Insurance Association of Barbados.Along with the enactment of a driving under the influence law that would include the use of breatherlyser machines by police at accident scenes, Blades is also all for the introduction of speed enforcement cameras.The lawman also sees a dire need for a road safety school to be established in Barbados, and for the building of partnerships to propel the development of road safety initiatives.Blades believes the school would be an alternative sentencing option for persons convicted of breaking traffic laws.Blades noted that Barbados had moved from 42 154 vehicles on the road in 1984, to 72 805, to 133 457 in June this year. “These are staggering figures, and they continue to rise. We have not had the commensurate number of kilometres of new roads during that period, as only the Spring Garden Highway and the Gordon Cummins Highway have been built within the last 15 years,” he told his audience.Blades also revealed that most of Barbados’ serious accidents occured at night, and much needed to be done to improve the quality of roads, lighting, and the use of reflective clothing on Barbados roads. “The major causes of these accidents are inattentiveness, improper overtaking and losing control of vehicles.”According to the veteran officer, meetings had been held recently with the Government Electrical Engineering Department with a view to increasing lighting in Bridgetown, as well as on the country’s major highways, and also in areas where commuters alight from public service vehicles.