Categorized | National News


Englerston Member of Parliament Glenys Hanna Martin yesterday in the House of Assembly expressed her disappointment in the Minnis Administration’s Road Traffic Bill, saying “ the government has yet to advance either what they met in place or anything at all over the last two years.” 

She said, “ the question that has to be answered is if this administration is playing games with the lives of Bahamian people, because you have a framework that exhausts all that you say in this parliament.”

She added, “You’re coming into this Parliament on the proverbial white horse claiming to be introducing this legislation as a commitment to road safety. Even if this government did not accept aspects of the policies driving the Bill, certainly the Bill must have provided a solid foundation for reform; after all this time,  should we have not seen some appropriate version brought forward.”

The current bill imposes  hefty   fines on  a driver caught texting and driving. 

It also requires all drivers to travel with their driver’s license to avoid being arrested. 

Mrs. Hanna-Martin said that  the government’s approach to road safety, saving lives, averting injuries and providing for a more rational environment on our streets must of necessity be multi-faceted. 

She added that by pulling out fragments from the bill in this piecemeal fashion, undermines the serious objectives of a full road safety regime.

She said, “the draft bill that we left addressed this vexing issue specifically provided for prison sentences of up to 10 years and disqualification of driver’s license to replace the current minimal penalties in place for causing death.

“The gross deficiencies in the law are seen over and over and even most recently a sentence  of a fine of $20,000 for a driver who admitted guilt in the killing  two  people.  This has long been a sore point and a painful bone of contention for many families of persons killed through negligence or recklessness on roads across the country and goes to the heart of justice. Reform is long overdue.”, she added. 

The MP indicated that the Opposition supports the cell phone provisions in the draft. 

However, it does not support the very high level of fines which they believe will enhance hardship. 

It also supports open container provisions, but does not support the clause empowering police to arrest a driver who does not have insurance papers. 

She also called on the government to bring forward the draft road traffic bill, the historic revision by the PLP Administration since the original enactment of 1958.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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