Thursday, Dec 14, 2017
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Specific focus needed on red light running

The Royal Bahamas Police Force was on the streets yesterday following several traffic accidents that resulted in six people dying on three islands over the weekend. Police were using speed guns and ticketing anyone going over the speed limit.

“Our focus is going to continue to remind folks how important it is to slow down, because speed is one of the primary causes of serious and fatal accidents within The Bahamas,” said Assistant Commissioner Ken Strachan.

There have been 49 traffic fatalities this year.

Police were particularly focused on East and West Bay Streets, Tonique Williams-Darling Highway, Milo Butler Highway, Carmichael Road and John F. Kennedy Drive.

With the expansion of the highway network in recent years, speeding increased.

Traveling west to the airport along John F. Kennedy Drive, it’s common for people drive in excess of 80 miles per hour. Some top 100 miles per hour.

While speeding is a problem on New Providence, and police should be commended for making an attempt to slow down the transgressors, there is also a need for focus on red light running.

Next time you drive around the island, count the number of people who go through red lights every time you stop at one. It’s normal for too many drivers.

There are those who go through the yellow-to-red transition. They have debatable cases. It’s the others who are outright dangers to society.

These New Providence residents think it acceptable to proceed through the light three to five seconds after it turns red. They cause accidents and near accidents regularly.

If you as a law-abiding citizen stop at the light, someone behind you, angry because you follow the law and standards of common sense, may maneuver around so they could run the light and get where they are in a rush to go.

While police are checking for speeders, and those with heavily tinted windows and unregistered vehicles, traffic officers should be stationed more frequently at major intersections to catch red light runners.

This dangerous behavior will lessen when there is consistent punishment. Currently, the law-breakers think stopping at lights is discretionary.

On an island with more than 200,000 residents it should not be dangerous to proceed at intersections as soon as the light turns green. You should not have to wait a few seconds to account for red light runners in order to avoid injury or death.

More aggressive law enforcement can change behavior. Changed behavior is what we need. The reckless are harming other drivers and pedestrians. That’s unfair.

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