Traffic fatalities are inevitably a part of the annual mortality rate every year. Casualties of road traffic accidents often perish as a result of speeding or drunk driving. While there was a twenty percent reduction in 2013, a total of fifty-one persons died on the country’s highways. The month of December, in two consecutive years, registered the highest number of fatalities, with nine persons dying as a result of deadly collisions. In last month alone there were three casualties. One means of mitigating the problem is by introducing a breathalyzer. Persons caught speeding or suspected of driving under the influence would be subjected to the test. According to Chief Transport Officer Crispin Jeffries, the introduction of the breathalyzer should succeed an amendment to the existing legislature.
Crispin Jeffries, Chief Transport Officer
“There is the recently introduced breathalyzer but there has always been the blood test and the urine test. The challenges with those is that the processes tend to be drawn out. A person who has alcohol in his system would have to be medically tested, the procedure might be he has to be taken to a hospital, a doctor needs to be present, an amount of time that may extend to an hour has to pass. A urine test may take some of the same procedures. The process for the breathalyzer, once it is finally passed into law, one it is in law already but we have to amend the law. It is that you test the person without the printout and that person is given a twenty-minute time period to be tested again where you get a printout and he is made to sign. But this is where we’re changing the law to facilitate that. That way you wouldn’t have the long drawn out time at the station, at the hospital… it takes more resources. That is the challenge because once you do that it will automatically mean that once that person is tested the first time around there should be the notification of somebody to say to that person is under the influence and will not be allowed to remove the vehicle from the scene, so someone else has to be identified to come along and move that vehicle or the enforcement officer would have to move that vehicle.”
On January fifteenth, twenty-eight-year-old Marcelo Aguilar perished in a three-way road traffic accident along the Phillip Goldson Highway, near the Corozal Free Zone. It is believed that the cause of the collision was the result of speeding and drunk driving. In 2012, there was a total of sixty-four casualties attributed to RTAs.