Categorized | National News

37 Traffic Fatalities Recorded

The spate of traffic fatalities in country has sparked a high level of concern for the Ministry of Transport, in particular with the trend involving young people who continue to lead statistics for those motorists who die as a result of an accident.

During an interview with the Bahama Journal on Friday, Minster of State for Transport Hope Strachan revealed that 37 traffic fatalities have been recorded for the year so far, she added that although the statistics are down when compared to 2013, the state minister stressed that even one life lost to an accident is one too many.

“The effects of traffic fatalities as well as the catastrophic injuries that occur from traffic fatalities have a very devastating impact on the general populace and that is not only in respect to the victims with very devastating injuries which actually affect their lives and life styles,” she said.

“Apart from the physical, there is also the physiological devastation that comes with traffic accidents. Then there is the economic devastation that come with it, catastrophic injuries sometimes lead to not being able to work, earn a living and look after one self and this impacts the family and the family structure.”

She added that as a developing country, every fatal accident reduces the country’s human capital which further affects the Bahamian economy.

New Providence recorded the greatest number of traffic fatalities for the year so far.

Statistics over the years have shown that youth, between the ages of 17 to 30 accounted for the majority of fatal accidents and males made up the majority of that age group.

In regards to the Family Islands, she said that last year, Eleuthera recorded the highest number of traffic fatalities per capita.

She maintained that speed remains the leading factor in fatal accidents on the Family Islands in particular.

“We found that persons using the roads over there are more prone to speed, you have those long winding roads from one settlement to the next and there is a tendency for people to speed so this has proven to be a huge factor in the traffic accidents that do occur in the Family Islands and that is even when you just have one car involved,” she said.

Last Thursday, a major intersection between Prince Charles Drive and Beatrice Avenue was blocked off and traffic was backed up for miles as officers staged a traffic fatality at the intersection that is infamously known for deadly accidents.

It was a simulation that was used as part of the Traffic Department’s aggressive educational campaign for Road Safety Month.

Although there was some backlash from motorists who complained about being late for work and expressed concern with the ministry going too far to prove a point, Minister Strachan maintained that raising an awarness remains a priority.

“There may be a need to say to the public that we apologise for the inconvenience that was caused, however, if it results in increasing the awareness and that is what we really wanted that message to convey then I would say it was a successful exercise,” she said.

“If it saves just one life then I would say it was very successful because the idea is for us to save lives for us to make the public aware of the need to be safe at all times.”

Earlier this year, Minister of Transport Glenys Hanna Martin revealed that there were 51 fatal traffic accidents in 2013 and she called for a national commitment to drastically reduce the annual number of deaths from traffic accidents.

The theme for this year’s Road Safety Month this November is “Pay Attention, Driving Is Full Time Job.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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