A view of the temporary mini-roundabout at the junction of Highway X and the entrance to the St. George Parish Church.
THE placement of the temporary mini-roundabout at the junction of Highway X and the entrance to the St. George Parish Church, is being lauded by the Barbados Road Safety Association (BRSA) as a good move, and the road safety advocates are hoping that it becomes a permanent fixture.
Speaking to The Barbados Advocate recently, Public Relations Officer of the BRSA, Richard Cox, maintained that the roundabout – which was installed on April 3, and the accompanying no right turn to vehicles other than long vehicles approaching Highway X from the St. George Primary School, should go a long way in helping to improve the movement of traffic in that area. In that vein, he said it is imperative now that the Ministry of Transport, Works and Maintenance erect a sign indicating that the long vehicles are able to make the right turn.
Cox made the point while noting that that junction has long posed a challenge for motorists as they tried to make the right turn, crossing three sets of traffic in the process. That situation, he lamented, too often resulted in accidents at the junction.
“There used to be too many accidents at that junction, and I have to say it is a good idea and I do not know, but perhaps one can also be placed at the junction at Charles Rowe Bridge. There you have a four crossroad and there are no pedestrian crossings at that junction to allow them to safely get across the street. It is a most dangerous road as far as pedestrians are concerned,” he explained.
Adding to his comments, President of the BRSA, Sharmane Roland-Bowen, is calling on the authorities to put similar type roundabouts in place at other dangerous intersections, particularly at the junction of Highway 2A and Westmoreland, St. James and the four-cross between Lower Greys and Brighton. In addition to a roundabout, Roland-Bowen is adamant that that latter junction is also desperately in need of lighting and road marking to improve the driver experience. She lamented that a driver, unfamiliar with the road, could easily drive right across from Lower Greys to Brighton and vice versa, because of the poor lighting and the absence of proper road markings.
“We want that the authorities are not only looking to ease traffic congestion, but are making changes to roads that can enhance safety. We believe those are two critical areas that need remedial measures put in place urgently,” the road safety advocate insisted.
She made the point while also calling for a stepped-up police presence on the Rices, St. Philip main road, where she said motorists have a tendency to speed. She maintained that too many accidents have been taking place on that road and it is imperative that steps are taken to prevent them.
“The road is nice and well-kept and people are speeding on it. Now that brings us back to the importance of education. People need to be educated because road conditions are only responsible for 10 per cent of the accidents, driver error is 85 per cent and the vehicle accounts for the last five. So our motorists need to be reminded of the need to drive safely and within the speed limit,” she stated. (JRT)