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Road traffic changes starting in October

Road Traffic Act amendments that regulate electronic device use while driving will be implemented in the first week of October, Minister of Transport Renward Wells said yesterday.

Wells said before then, the government will conduct a public relations campaign to educate the public on the changes.

“The road traffic amendments are going to be implemented by the first week in October,” he said outside Cabinet.

“The only thing we need to do now is put forth the appointed day notice, as you know, for it to actually become law.

“And the reason why we chose October is that we want to be able to do the PR campaign with the Bahamian people to cause them to understand exactly what it is that we intend to do in regards to them being able to turn left on the stoplight, in regards to communication devices, electronic devices, and also some other issues that have been going on within Road Traffic.”

Senators debated and passed the Road Traffic Amendment Bill, 2018, in May.

The law will criminalize the use of cell phones and other electronic communication devices while driving, along with making it illegal to drive with open alcoholic beverages. However, the law states that if a cell phone is affixed to the vehicle and is enabled for hands-free use, it may be used.

The law will also make the failure of a driver to produce his or her name and address, and the name and address of the owner of the motor vehicle or certificate of motor insurance in respect of that motor vehicle, a criminal offense.

It will also require the payment of outstanding fines in respect of traffic offenses before the granting of a driver’s license or a public service driver’s license.

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Rachel Knowles

Rachel joined The Nassau Guardian in January 2019. Rachel covers national issues. Education: University of Virginia in Charlottesville, BA in Foreign Affairs and Spanish

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