by Donella Hosten
Over the past year, there has been an increase in the number of accidents involving motorcyclists, some of which have been resulted in severe injury or fatality.
During last week’s presentation of the Road Traffic Amendment Bill, Caretaker for the Town of St George, Hon Nickolas Steele said that there is a dire need to ensure that certain laws are enforced, as there are riders who need the guidance of the law to ensure that safety standards are adhered to.
Due to some improper wording of the previous bill, it was not mandatory for riders to wear helmets. However, the amended bill will now hold riders responsible for their own safety. Riders are to ensure that they are wearing the necessary headgear, as failure to comply can result in them being fined up to $750 or be imprisoned for at least 3 months.
Hon Gregory Bowen reiterated the need for riders to be protected, but believes that their protective wear should be extended to other parts of the body. “There are other components,” said Bowen, and looking at the records of previous accidents involving motorcyclists, he recommended that other gears be introduced to the bill.
The bill, according to Section 72 also addresses the issue of more than 2 persons riding a motorcycle at the same time.
Although Hon Oliver Joseph didn’t oppose the bill, he questioned why people’s behaviour has to be legislated in such a manner, as he believes that persons can and should take responsibility for their own safety. This bothers him, he said, as ‘people must accept responsibility.