NCOPT President Issues Road Safety Appeal – St. Lucia Times

The content originally appeared on: St. Lucia Times News

A series of road accidents, resulting in numerous injuries within a mere twenty-four hours, has moved the President of the National Council on Public Transportation (NCOPT) to issue a road safety appeal.

Between Wednesday at about 11:00 a.m. and Thursday at about 7:30 a.m., Saint Lucia recorded three multiple-casualty road incidents.

Saint Lucia Fire Service (SLFS) personnel transported 18 victims to the OKEU Hospital after three vehicles collided at Goodlands, Castries on Wednesday.

In addition, emergency personnel transported eleven students and a bus driver to St. Jude Hospital on Thursday.

The bus taking the students to the Anse Ger Secondary School ran off the road and down a slope after an apparent brake failure at Grace, Vieux Fort.

Minutes earlier, emergency responders transported five people to the hospital after a truck ran into the back of a minibus at Aupicon, Vieux Fort.

NCOPT President Godfrey Ferdinand expressed surprise at the road accident spike.

“In my humble opinion we are the best drivers on the road,” Ferdinand said regarding bus drivers.

He observed that some motorists could not drive on some roads where minibus drivers operate daily without causing accidents.

The NCOPT official said it did not mean there are not some bus drivers who break the law, which is a matter for the police to address.

As a result, Ferdinand reiterated the need for breathalyzer tests, speed guns and other measures.

He noted that there was a period when road accidents were not occurring so often.

Ferdinand also disclosed that he would attend a previously scheduled meeting with Transport Ministry officials on Friday to continue discussing road safety measures.

There would be another meeting with the police on Monday.

“There has to be great concern,” the NCOPT President said regarding minibus accidents.

Ferdinand explained that bus accidents usually result in multiple injuries due to the number of people the vehicles transport.

However, he asserted that one accident is too many.

“We do not want our buses to be involved in any accidents,” Ferdinand told St. Lucia Times.

He said the NCOPT and the authorities would implement measures to address the issue, including more road checks and frequent inspections.

Nevertheless, Ferdinand explained that brake failures are not the sole cause of road accidents.

He told St. Lucia Times that road conditions, mechanical problems, the carelessness of drivers, or even their health were among contributing factors.

“It’s not just speed,” he declared.

Therefore, Ferdinand said there must be a holistic approach to dealing with road safety.

PHOTO: Emergency personnel attend to a victim on a stretcher in an ambulance after the road accident at Grace, Vieux Fort.