NGO Arrive Alive has honoured 85 first responders and service men and women, as well as other road safety professionals in Trinidad and Tobago. The virtual Road Safety Awards Ceremony took place on Tuesday 18th May 2021 with Arrive Alive President Sharon Inglefield commending the officers for working tirelessly to reduce the carnage on the nation’s roadways.
Mrs. Inglefield said road crashes have been reduced by approximately 53% during the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2010 to 2020.
She praised the work of the Government for its enactment of new legislation like the Demerit Points System where many drivers are reeducated via a Drivers Rehabilitation Programme and taught anger management, journey management and road rules at a two-day workshop.
“We commend Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith, Deputy Commissioner of Police Administration Joanne Archie and Senior Superintendent Wayne Mystar and their respective teams for their continuous efforts and hard work. Your service to this country has not gone unrecognized,” she stated.
During Global Road Safety Week observed on May 17 – May 21, Mrs. Inglefield said Arrive Alive will join a host of global NGOs to call for a reduction in speed, “The theme “#Love 30 campaign” calls on the Government to fulfil the commitment in the Stockholm Declaration by including provision for a default speed limit of 30 km/h in built up areas. Our road users deserve the right to safe and responsible usage of the roads, whatever the purpose.”
She further appealed to pedestrians to be responsible on the nation’s roadways and stop attempting to cross the highways and utilize the walkovers.
Country Manager Michael Stone, BHP Trinidad and Tobago and main sponsor said occasions like these are important as it allows for the recognition and celebration of our road safety journey, “We have the highest regards for our hardworking police officers, licensing officers and traffic wardens – each day you ensure our drivers and passengers, cyclists and pedestrians are kept safe through enforcement of road traffic laws including the laws of driving under the influence and speeding. We deeply appreciate your dedication to duty and commitment to saving lives.”
Acting Deputy Commissioner of Police – Administration Joanne Archie (standing in for Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith), Trinidad and Tobago Police Service noted there continues to be a lack of adherence to using seat belts. She said there has been a noted increase in fatal accidents between the hours of 6 pm and 6 am, “While there was a corresponding decrease in fatal road traffic accidents of 28 percent between 2019 and 2020. The data will justify the need for more nighttime enforcement of the road traffic laws by officers.”
Acting DCP Archie also acknowledged that 78 percent of last year’s road fatalities were men and behavioural change is needed especially for male drivers who let the need for speed get to their heads. She said, “Men often remark arrogantly that women are bad drivers, but the data suggests otherwise.”
Feature Speaker, Senator the Honourable Rohan Sinanan, Minister of Works and Transport said it is his hope that for the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2021-2030, road traffic deaths will be reduced by at least 50% and special emphasis will be placed on lowering that statistics for people in vulnerable groups, “The Ministry of Works and Transport has reconstituted the Trinidad and Tobago National Road Safety Council (TTNRSC) which will be responsible for vital deliverables toward leadership and action and will advance the realm of road safety,” he stated.
Arrive Alive Spokesperson Michelle Ablack-Papponette who lost her husband to a road accident in 2016 said the first responders she encountered were empathetic and consoling and she praised them for their human touch, “I am sincerely grateful to the Ambulance, Fire and Police Services. When you are in the situation, you begin to understand the importance of a prompt response in times of emergencies. I am forever grateful.”
She also appealed to drivers to be safe on the nation’s roads, “When someone enters your vehicle, you become responsible for someone’s father, mother, son, daughter, sister or child. No longer should you consider them to be just passengers but instead precious cargo. So please, be road safe as lives depend on it and families depend on it.”
Thirty-eight (38) persons from the Ministry of Works and Transport, twelve (12) fire officers from the Trinidad and Tobago Fire Service, seven (7) persons from Global Medical Response Trinidad and Tobago, three (3) police officers from the Ministry of National Security and twenty-five (25) officers from Trinidad and Tobago Police Service were all recognized for their outstanding work in road safety.
– Press release