Categorized | National News


An  Senator  supporting the Free National Movement yesterday suggested the government revisit compensation for the estate of victims killed due to reckless driving during his contribution in the Senate. 

As it stands, the law requires the guilty individual to pay a fine with no consideration to the bereaved families’ funeral expenses.

As Senator Ranard Henfield suggested that  there should instead be minimum prison sentences for those charged with killing in the course of dangerous driving. 

He asked, “Are we, as a civilized people, of the view that when someone kills another person by knocking them with a car that a fine of $10,000 is enough to replace that person’s life? Certainly not I say.”

The Senator was at the time contributing to debate on the Road Traffic Amendment Bill – proposed law aimed at addressing the growing concern of traffic fatalities in the country.

Based on Senator Henfield’s calculations, 50 families per year are affected by such incidents. 

It is proposed that an individual be fined $200 for failing to provide a certificate of insurance or three months imprisonment, $500 for using electronic devices while driving and $40 for failing to produce a driver’s license. 

While the Opposition has argued that such penalties are ill conceived and excessive, Senator Henfield’s said, “what is excessive to me is the amount of hit and runs in The Bahamas. What is excessive to me is the number of traffic accidents that are a result of distracted drivers on mobile devices.

“What is excessive to me is the number of persons operating vehicles under the influence of alcohol or marijuana. What is excessive to me is the number of persons that have failed to produce a valid driver’s license to the police within the current 24 hours, or the amount of persons operating vehicles without insurance,” he added.

As for traffic tickets, Mr. Henfield reported that less than one third of them issued at any given month are paid, leaving the real problem to enforcement. 

He said, “here we are today passing yet another law which will be hard to enforce, unless we put dozens of boots on motorcycles and begin daily road blocks to show the seriousness of this administration.

“Just because there is a law, does not mean that Bahamians will automatically comply. There’s a law against illegal immigrants, but there are thousands of them in the country being employed by Bahamians. There’s a law for being in possession of an unlicensed firearm, but yet they have flooded our streets and being used to murder over 100 of our people every year for the last decade. The change will come from the enforcement of these laws,” he added. 

The bill also requires drivers to pay all outstanding traffic offense-related fines before being granted a driver’s license.

It also allows motorists to make a left turn on a red light. 

Written by Jones Bahamas

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