Bannister defends decisions on Munnings Road
Despite the government’s decision to place speed bumps and reflectors on Munnings Road, following a car crash that killed a young woman on June 14, Minister of Public Works Desmond Bannister said yesterday that speed bumps and reflectors should not have been necessary.
Garvinisha Carey’s car slammed into a concrete barrier erected to block the road in early May.
“We put speed bumps close to the barrier after the fact, but if you come to that road from John F. Kennedy, you will see that there’s at least a mile stretch where you can see. It’s very clear,” said Bannister, while on Guardian Radio talk show “The Political Review” with hosts K. Quincy Parker and Adrian Francis.
“There ought not to have been a need for bumps to be put there in the first place. Anybody driving along that road can see those barriers from a long distance away.”
Carey, 24, a mother of a three-year-old boy, was killed on her way back home after dropping her mother to the airport around 6 a.m.
The barrier was erected on an area of the road that does not have street lighting and did not have a road closure sign in the immediate vicinity.
The concrete was placed across the road until a cul-de-sac could be created, but eight weeks later there was no sign that work has started.
Since the accident, speed bumps, signs and reflectors have been placed on and before the concrete barrier.
“And these are things you do afterward, that really shouldn’t have been needed in the first place,” Bannister insisted yesterday. And they’re not needed if you were driving along that road at 25 miles per hour, which is the speed limit.
“That’s the maximum you’re supposed to drive on that road; if you’re driving on that road and observing the speed limit and you’re not texting and you have a licensed vehicle.”
When pressed about the darkness of that road, Bannister asserted, “Police indicated that it was after 6 a.m. and I leave my house around 6 a.m. every morning, the sun is very bright.”
In a public notice on April 27, the Ministry of Public Works advised that it was carrying out works on Munnings Road in regard to the intended closure and cul-de-sacing of the street, located off Gladstone Road.
There is a sign at the entrance of South Westridge indicating that the road has been closed.
The decision was made to close the road after Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis, the MP for Killarney, met with residents, many of whom asked that the road be closed so they can have more privacy.
There were also concerns about speeding and a possible rise in criminal activity with the general public having access to the area to get from Gladstone Road to John F. Kennedy Drive, near Lynden Pindling International Airport.
Bannister yesterday noted that he tabled this notice in Parliament.
“We gave the public notice as required by law,” he said. “We published it appropriately. We did what had to be done.
“And I don’t want to sound heartless; I mourn the death of this young woman, but one of the things we do in our society that we have to be careful about is we take these incidents that are very sad incidents, very tragic incidents, but we don’t look at all the surrounding circumstances. We don’t look at everything that has happened.”
He added that since the authorities put up a barrier, some people have moved some of the barriers in order to drive around it.
“We have to decide that we are going to be a law abiding people, that we are going to do the things that are required and tragic circumstances make it difficult for us to look at, but the reality is decisions were made to protect residential communities.
“It has nothing to do with any high-end communities. These are ordinary people like you and me. They are middle class people.
“The road was sent back to its original intent. That was the original intent of the road.”
Carey’s mother announced last week that her family intends to sue the government over her daughter’s death.
Palincia Hunter, an attorney at Munroe & Associates, said the firm will write a letter to the government on behalf of the family, asking for a settlement in the matter, but if the government chooses not to settle, legal action would be taken.
Education: Vrije Universiteit Brussel (University of Brussels), MA in Mass Communications