More highways have led to increased traffic fatalities, minister says
The increase in traffic fatalities on New Providence in recent years is a result of more highways on the island, Minister of Transport and Local Government Renward Wells suggested yesterday.
“I think we have to realize that in our push for modernity and making The Bahamas more modern, we created a lot more highways,” Wells said.
“Bahamians were used to just single lane traffic, for the most part, in New Providence, and single lane traffic throughout the entire Family Islands, with the exception of Grand Bahama.
“So, with our speed limit being 45 miles an hour in a whole lot of places and Bahamians just chugging along, one car behind the other, you could get away with doing certain things.
“When you have dual lane highways where someone can travel at 60, 70, 80, 90, 100 miles an hour, looking at their cell phone for a second, picking that up and drinking and being a little tipsy, there are a lot more issues that are possible when you are moving at those kinds of speeds.
“So, we need to address it now, because we no longer live in a fishing village. The country is growing by leaps and bounds.”
According to statistics released in January, there were 63 traffic accidents recorded in 2018 that resulted in 69 deaths.
Deaths involving motor vehicles were again on the rise with a reported 29 percent increase, compared to 2017.
Of the 69 deaths in 2018, 31 were pedestrians; 20 were drivers; 12 were passengers; three were motorcyclists and three were bicyclists.