Categorized | National News


The government yesterday pushed ahead with changes to the Road Traffic Act.

Those changes  include  stiffer penalties for drivers using communication devices while driving and for those caught without their licenses.

Leading off the debate in the House of Assembly, Transport Minister Renward Wells  said, “ these changes  include  requiring the immediate production of a certificate of insurance or drivers license upon the request of the police officer and requiring the payment of outstanding fines for traffic offenses before the renewal of a drivers license, and prohibiting the use of electronic communication devices while driving. “

Citing statistics, Mr. Wells said globally 1.2 million people die from traffic accidents each year which equates to some 3,288 persons dying each day.

He added that more people died from vehicular accidents than anything else.


As it relates to The Bahamas,  Minister Wells noted that death due to vehicular accidents for the first three months equal the amount of homicides in 2018.

He added that there 44 traffic fatalities in 2016, 55 in 2015, 37 in 2014 and 51 in 2013.

“There has been  a marked increase in the amount of deaths year over year of some 35 per cent in 2018.

“For this year alone  2019, we have had some 18 persons over the first three months who have died on the streets on New Providence,” he said.

The Minister noted that  road traffic death is now the 13th cause of death in The Bahamas,” he said.  

Seconding the bill was National Security Minister Marvin Dames who sought to defend  the reasoning behind the proposed amendments.

“The World Health Organization estimates that traffic related incidences cost countries an average of three per cent of their GDP.

“Of course, the proposed amendments of this Road Traffic Bill are much more than economic loss at the lives of humans is so much more valuable. 

“The proposed bill hopes to frame road traffic safety as a health and development framework for the socio-economic and human capital development of the country.” 

“Concurrently, we hope to shift the public’s behavior and attitudes, which will ultimately save lives,” Minister Dames said.    

There have  been 1,831 accidents this year. Approximately 1,554 or 84.9 per cent was in New Providence, 195 or 10.6 per cent in Grand Bahama, while 50 or 2.7 per cent occurred in Abaco.

There have  been 14 fatalities for the year, 11 were in New Providence and  two occurred in Andros.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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