By: Precious Mills

BASSETERRE, St.Kitts (Thursday, 21st December, 2017) –Although members of the public expected to see the traffic lights in Basseterre turned on Monday this week (18th December), as was communicated by Minister of Public Infrastructure and Transport Ian ‘Patches’ Liburd, that was not the case.

Speaking to Superintendent and Commander of Divisional B Cromwell Henry of the Traffic Department, he explained why.

“The traffic lights will not be turned on this year again; there was a delay in the delivery of some of the component parts for the system. They would not be arriving until later this month so we would put back the commissioning for early next month (January).”

Asked about other public sensitisation outreach in regard to education on the traffic lights apart from the town hall meeting held and school visits, he informed that the Traffic Department has been continuing to address such through its regular traffic talk programmes aired on ZIZ radio and WINN FM.

“But we will intensify those sensitisation efforts for the coming month for the New Year,” he added.

Cromwell offered some road tips during the busy Christmas and Carnival season.

“Well as everyone realizes, the roads are busier. The vehicle population has increased significantly. It’s obvious given the amount of vehicles on the road and at this time of year, there is generally increased vehicular activity and so it is wise that motorists exercise extra caution, pay more attention to the road, avoid in-vehicle distractions such as cell phones and use of other electronic devices while driving and basically drive within the speed limit and drive according to the road conditions.”

Noting that this is the wet season, he advised: “When the roads are wet, you have to drive even further below the speed limit than you would normally simple because you tend to lose control of the vehicle easier when there is less traction on the road because of the wetness/

He pointed out that the speed limit in villages and towns is 20 miles per hour with a maximum of 25 miles per hour which is acceptable by the Traffic Department while outside the limits of towns and villages, it’s 40 miles per hour.

Cromwell also warned against driving while under the influence.

“We know that it is the time of year when people celebrate and for some reason some people drink alcohol as part of their celebrations. We are not asking you not to drink but just asking you not to drive if you are drinking. Use public service transport or have a designated driver who’s not drinking when you go out.”