Road safety officials are concerned that with COVID-19 hitting T&T’s shores, the nation is on edge, resulting in a lot of what they describe as “trivial and stupid” accidents.

Highlight the issue today (Thursday 19 march 2020) was PC Brent Batson, Road Safety Project Coordinator at the T&T Police Service. PC Batson was speaking during a webinar event hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce of T&T (AMCHAM T&T), titled “Motor Vehicles and The Road Traffic Act—How the Demerit System will affect companies”.

The UTurn System that is to take effect from April 2 will see the implementation of a: Red-Light Camera System; The Demerit Points System; Reformed Fixed Penalty Ticketing System and Transformation of the Licensing Division.

PC Batson, in his online session for the corporate viewers, said that people are very stressed in recent days and especially out on the roads.

“There is a lot of anxiety. We are getting a lot of trivial stupid accidents in car parks… So it goes to show that the nation is a bit on edge,” Batson said.

He urged people and companies to apply defensive driving principles.

“Give yourself a lot more room, a lot more space to anticipate people who are not paying too much attention,” he advises. “They will be taking chances by taking a lot of distracting calls. People WhatsApping each other or calling to say ‘go to the grocery make sure you get this or get that’, because of how on-edge they are.”

With respect to the Demerit Point System, PC Batson explained that that there can be multiple traffic violations, for example, speeding and breaking a red light. He said the driver will be responsible for paying all the stipulated fines on each ticket. He explained further that only the violation that carries the highest number of demerit points will be applied on the driver’s permit record of the driver.

During his presentation, Business Development Manager at ANSA Rentals, Ian Haywood, disclosed challenges that the company may have in terms of vehicles rentals to foreigners who carry out any traffic violations. He suggested that agreements be reviewed and their credit cards be held for a certain period of time after they have left the country.

He also urged human resources departments and fleet managers to take proper logs as to who is using a company vehicle and period of time they are doing so. He says in the event of any traffic violations and resulting issuance of tickets, companies could quickly ascertain the driver of the respective vehicle at that point in time.

He also urged companies to ensure that their respective company vehicles are inspected, with insurance up to date; are properly maintained and in good working condition.

Other presenters in today’s webinar included Sharon Inglefield, President of Arrive Alive; and Robert Visser, Managing Director of Total Convenience Management.