In recent months there has been a significant increase in the number of vehicle collisions on Anguilla. We have already recorded three road fatalities for the year.
As the Traffic Commissioner I see the urgency to address you about this growing concern. Road safety in Anguilla must continue to be a concern for all of us. One road fatality is one too many, let alone three in the space of three weeks.
Driving for the most part is a learnt behavior and as such, driving therefore relates primarily to the attitudes of people. Consequently, the solution to what is happening now cannot only be through enforcement alone, but a combination of educating, the exercising of due diligence and an exhibition of prudence when driving on the roads of Anguilla.
Many people rely on cars in order to get to work, take their children to school and generally enable movement around the Country. Good drivers will maintain their vehicles in a road worthy condition and have them regularly serviced. The driver is responsible not only for their own safety, but those who may be passengers in the vehicle and those others who are also using the road.
Cars are a safe form of transport if driven correctly. Drivers need to drive within the limits of their ability and take extra care when driving in different road conditions such as rain. Slow down as the vehicle’s characteristics in such conditions change.
The R.A.P.F. is committed to not only doing what the law requires of us, as it relates to the reporting of offenders, but creating an awareness to enhance the proper use of the roads and likewise, highlighting the bad practices demonstrated from time to time.
Some of the bad practices displayed that may result in collisions are:
- Excess speed;
- Distraction by misuse of mobile phones or by other factors such as children;
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol;
- Failure to conform to the Traffic Sign.
We must guard against the perception that our roads are becoming less safe. It must be the personal responsibility of every driver and rider on the roads of Anguilla to ensure that they drive safely considering not only their safety, but also the safety of every other road user. The roads are used not just used by cars or motorcycles but by pedestrians, pedal cycles and in many cases untethered livestock. They all have to occupy the same space at the same time.
In light of this I am appealing to every driver on the roads of Anguilla to begin firstly by reducing their speed. The preliminary cause of a number of vehicular accidents in Anguilla has seen speed as the major contributing factor. Secondly, I am appealing to you to be more cautious and aware of your surroundings and others that may be using the road, and thirdly, please do not drive if you are under the influence of drink or drugs.
I am reminded of the 2016 Traffic Week Theme which states: Road Safety a National Responsibility.
Remember the life you save might just be your own.