Inexperienced drivers spike 2018 traffic accidents

by Curlan Campbell, NOW Grenada

  • Traffic accidents in the first 2 months of 2018 have surpassed that of 2017
  • Accidents caused by inexperienced drivers failing to adhere to rules and regulations
  • 9 fatalities were recorded last year, but so far none have been recorded for 2018.

Traffic accidents in the first 2 months of 2018 have surpassed that of 2017. The latest traffic accident statistics released by the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) shows that January and February saw a total of 375 vehicular accidents, compared to 340 recorded in the same period last year, an increase of 35 accidents.

Head of the Community Relations Department (CRD), Inspector Trevor Rodney attributed this increase in road traffic accidents to the number of inexperienced drivers on the nation’s roads. “We have seen some accidents caused by inexperienced drivers failing to adhere to rules and regulations, leading to a number of accidents.”

9 fatalities were recorded last year, but so far none have been recorded for 2018. He noted the volume of vehicles on the roads as one of the causes, “bearing in mind that our roads have not been significantly developed to accommodate the volume of traffic that continues to increase.”

The Road Traffic Act was amended in 2017 to include heavier fines up to EC$5,000 for the use of a mobile device while driving, and a mandatory breathalyser test if deemed under the influence.

Rodney said these measures had helped significantly, and he has seen a greater degree of compliance. However, the issue of unauthorised parking remains a challenge. “Parking is one of the more serious concerns of the RGPF. If you pay attention in the town area, you are guaranteed to see vehicles parked in a no-parking zone. Enforcement will be strict in that regard because it appears the signs are being ignored.”

Incidences which occurred over the relatively peaceful Easter weekend include:

  • The fatal stabbing of 31-year-old Steve Francis of Mt Horne St Andrew at the hands of his younger brother Damian Francis, 26, of Mt Horne on Good Friday, 30 March 2018. Damian Francis appeared at the Grenville Magistrate’s Court charged with non-capital murder on Tuesday, 3 April and was subsequently remanded to Richmond Hill Prison. He is due to reappear in court on 23 April 2018.
  • The tragic drowning of 3-year-old Caleb Frazer at Grand Anse beach on Easter Monday.

Inspector Rodney expressed condolences to the grieving family and has called for an increased lifeguard presence on Grand Anse beach. “Although I don’t know how many or the extent of how they operate, I do believe the number of lifeguards present on Grand Anse beach must be looked into as a proactive measure, given the fact that you have a huge gathering at Easter.”

Police are also investigating a shooting incident in Victoria St Mark, with 2 men in police custody.

By way of an update, the RGPF has arrested and charged 3 men in connection with the seizure of over 1,000 pounds of cannabis in 22 nylon bags on the coast in Conference Bay, St Andrew. Kevin Coxall of Grand Bras, Kiran Alexander of Soubise and Emron Macdonald were jointly charged with possession of a controlled drug and trafficking of a controlled drug and are scheduled to be brought to court today Wednesday, 4 April.

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