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Better roads: more speeding in Santa Elena Print E-mail
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Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 15 February 2018 00:00

Excess speeding by motorist along the La Loma Luz Boulevard and other tributaries that connect to the new Macal River bridge in Santa Elena Town in Cayo has sparked considerable controversy on social media and a recent public conference in San Ignacio; especially after several traffic accidents have already occurred on that openly traversed highway. Members of the public have been calling for ‘sleeping policemen’ to be placed on the boulevard and beyond, but the experts are steering clear from such a move.

Chief Engineer Mr. Lennox Bradley argues that speed bumps on the La Loma Luz Boulevard and other sections is not necessarily the solution for several reasons. He says that speed bumps will create weak zones on the road and is a source of discomfort for sick persons travelling by ambulances---where speed is of the essence. Also, speed bumps are not the solution for drivers under the influence of alcohol and may instead lead to further accidents under such conditions.

“What we have mentioned to the Mayor [Earl Trapp Junior]  is that we have to step up on public awareness, education programs and we also have to step up on enforcement, you can’t have the law and you are not enforcing the laws.”

At a recent public meeting at Hode’s Place in San Ignacio, Mayor Earl Trapp Junior explained that several proactive measure have been undertaken to ease the traffic problems that are now being encountered on the open highways to the new Macal River bridge. He said that traffic lights have been ordered and that traffic wardens would be employed to assist in placing cones around curves. In an interview with the Guardian, Mayor Trapp said that the issue now is in the hands of Ministry of Works engineers. Mayor Trapp also had a message to drivers.

“Let us just exercise extreme caution when we are driving on the highways; not only this highway, but generally and of course let us be more responsible and think about pedestrians and make sure that we extend that courtesy to them when we walk past the street or the highway.”

As regards to traffic law enforcement,  Officer in Charge of San Ignacio Police Anthony Richard Rosado believes that it will now require the involvement of all stakeholders, such as the Town Council, Traffic Wardens, Police, National Transport, drivers and road users.

“We also need to coordinate and utilize the resources of all agencies in a collaborative way,” he writes.

“Strict implementation of traffic rules alone will not solve the present issue, but creating a balance between enforcement and changing the mind set of drivers and road users can create a possibility for reducing traffic related accidents. I must submit that any enforcement plan must be able to balance constancy and predictability in our enforcement of traffic regulation and must involve an educational component in an attempt to change the mindset of drivers and road users.”

The Public Works Department maintains some two thousand, eight hundred and six point two miles of road country-wide explains Lennox Bradely  “and that is why the focus [is] on road safety and climate resilience building on our roads.”

Private citizen John Pinelo, who regularly travels along the La Loma Luz Boulevard from Belmopan to his family home in San Ignacio is practical about the situation.

“They need to pay for the lamp posts. If the vehicle is insured then the post should be covered in the insurance. The last two accidents took down the new posts and they haven’t been replaced yet. I get upset when I see our public infrastructure being damaged by reckless drivers and nothing is done to replace them.”

At the recent public meeting at Hode’s it was also agreed that an educational component should be considered to reduce the number of traffic accidents along the La Loma Luz Boulevard and other roads connecting to the new Macal River Bye-pass.

Mellisa Guerra agrees to that solution.

“What would help is proper education on the traffic safety laws and the enforcement of these laws. As it is we already have too much bumps on the road and accidents still happen.”

So far Mayor Earl Trapp Junior has created a Traffic Management Committee to deal with this and other issues. The San Ignacio and Santa Elena Town Council also employed two new wardens last Monday to assist with traffic management in the Twin Towns of San Ignacio and Santa Elena.