President of the Barbados Road Safety Association, Sharmane Roland-Bowen is urging government to utilise some of the money being collected via the fuel tax instituted in July 2018, to assist with much needed road repairs and maintenance.

Roland-Bowen made the call in a recent interview with The Barbados Advocate during which she bemoaned the poor road conditions in this country, which she said was putting added wear and tear on vehicles and possibly contributing to accidents. The road safety advocate said that while she appreciates that the economy is still clawing its way back, she believes the revenue collected through the fuel tax was putting more money into Government’s coffers than when persons were required to pay road tax for their vehicles.

“We are 100 times more compliant with the fuel tax and we have more money, a lot more money than before. Where before we had a lot more cars on our roads not paying road tax, now every vehicle on the road basically has to pay the fuel tax. Where people were not paying insurance, they now also have to pay the insurance to get that information to take to the Ministry of Transport to get their registration sticker. So money is more plentiful in that area and some of it should go back to our roads,” she maintained.

Meanwhile, the road safety advocate commended Government for the efforts made to fix certain sections of the ABC Highway, while admitting that the road conditions are certainly not as bad as they were before. But, the BRSA president argued even with that work undertaken there are still too many roads, particularly minor roads, which she believed if repaired would be more readily used by motorists and could help to take some of the pressure off the major roads, helping to ease congestion and lessen the occurrence of accidents.

“A lot of the times accidents happen because people are frustrated, people are stressed with the long lines and it can lead to aggressive driving, which leads to accidents. If we could put more focus on these roads that have the potholes and need repairs it would divert some of the traffic. So we are asking that the money collected be used to help make our roads safer,” she sated. (JRT)

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