by Brian JM Joseph
There are too many road fatalities and vehicle collisions taking place on our nation’s roads.
We keep seeing more victims being added to the list on a daily basis. I don’t believe many drivers are driving with “due care and attention.” Even though Grenada isn’t a signatory member to the Vienna Convention we are still to adhere to those rules. One of the fundamental principles of autonomous driving has been the concept that a driver is always fully in control and responsible for the behaviour of a vehicle in traffic.
Rules of the road and driving etiquette are the general practices and procedures that road users are required to follow. These rules usually apply to all road users, though they are of special importance to motorists and cyclists. These rules govern interactions between vehicles and with pedestrians. The basic traffic rules are defined by an international treaty under the authority of the United Nations, the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Traffic. Not all countries are signatory to the convention and, even among signatories, local variations in practice may be found. There are also unwritten local rules of the road, which are generally understood by local drivers.
As a general rule, drivers are expected to avoid a collision with another vehicle and pedestrians, regardless of whether or not the applicable rules of the road allow them to be where they happen to be. In addition to the rules applicable by default, traffic signs and traffic lights must be obeyed, and instructions may be given by a police officer, either routinely (on a busy crossing instead of traffic lights) or as road traffic control around a construction zone, accident, or other road disruption. These rules should be distinguished from the mechanical procedures required to operate one’s vehicle.
There’s no time like the present to increase road safety through the adoption of uniform traffic rules and appropriate measures must be taken in ensuring that the rules of the road are enforced. A lot of drivers aren’t following the rules and if they do, there could be an avoidance or reduction in road accidents and fatalities. Sometimes I often wonder if, some of these drivers plying along our nation’s roadways has ever read the Highway Code? If they do then it simply means they aren’t complying with the rules at all.
I’m literally shocked seeing how vehicles are parked on Market Hill right here in the city; it is call for concern. RGPF Traffic Department please pay more attention and you will see what’s happening. What are the rules for parking on hills with and without curbs?
If you’re parking along a curb, how you cut your wheels depends on whether or not your car is facing uphill or downhill. If your car is facing downhill, cut your wheels to the right, into the curb. If your car is facing uphill, cut your wheels to the left, away from the curb. If your car starts to roll, cutting your wheels like this will cause them to catch on the curb and hopefully prevent the car from rolling away.
If the shoulder has no curb, always cut your wheels to the right, whether you are facing uphill, or downhill. In this way, if your car starts to roll your car will either roll forward (facing downhill) or will roll backwards (facing uphill) and off the road and not into traffic.
RGPF Traffic Department is now utilising the use of traffic wardens all around the city and other strategic locations and I’m very pleased to see this happening. What I would like to see for the new school year is wardens being placed at various school zones so students, especially the younger ones, can be assisted in crossing, likewise ensuring that the law is enforced and maintained at all times.
Many drivers aren’t adhering to road traffic rules relating to pedestrian crossings in city and school zones because they’re not stopping outside of white lines. They’re often seen going beyond it and as soon as a pedestrian or pedestrians are not even halfway across, the drivers are speeding past.
It’s even observed in school zones, where there are crossings for children, drivers, especially busmen, are parking on the pedestrian crossing to drop off children and it’s becoming a very dangerous practice and some terrible accidents are just waiting to happen.
Aren’t drivers aware that they’re not supposed to go beyond the white lines?
Some drivers aren’t even waiting for other bus conductors to cross the children to the other side of the road. I have witnessed many children almost get run over by inconsiderate drivers on our nation’s roads. Always remember, “when you’re behind the wheel of a car – whether alone or with passengers – driving safely should always be your top concern. We’re more distracted than ever, so it’s crucial to know the basics of safe driving and practice them every time you’re on the road.”