Friday, September 20, 2019

Barbados: Bluetooth use while driving to be made legal

Must Read

Saint Lucia To Approve Scotiabank Acquisition

Press Release:- The Monetary Council registered its no objection to the decision of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) to...

OECS Countries Provide Critical Help To Hurricane-Hit Bahamas

Press Release:- The extent of the damage and loss of life in the Bahamas, in the wake of Hurricane Dorian,...

Sleeping US Woman Swallows Engagement Ring

A US woman has undergone surgery after removing and swallowing her engagement ring in her sleep. Jenna Evans, 29, said...
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Barbados Today:- It will no longer be legal for drivers here to hold mobile phones to their ears while driving, if proposed amendments to the Road Traffic Act are approved.

However, this does not mean a total ban of cell phone use, as the amended legislation will legalize the use of Bluetooth and other hands-free devices while driving, Assistant Superintendent of the Royal Barbados Police Force Roland Stanford told Barbados TODAY.

The law currently prohibits the use of headsets, including Bluetooth headsets, while driving.

“The legislation would permit Bluetooth and that sort of thing to be used by drivers. However there are some distractions still; being hands-free does not mean that your attention is totally focused on the road. However it would be an improvement,” Stanford said following a press briefing yesterday to mark the start of Road Safety Month by the Barbados Road Safety Association at its Rendezvous, Christ Church headquarters.

Although no data was readily available on the number of road accidents here caused exclusively by the use of mobile phones, using these devices while driving is generally considered to be dangerous.

A number of countries and US states have banned handheld mobile phone use when driving unless used with some form of hands-free kit.

However, in Barbados the reverse is true. Even though a person could be charged with driving without due care and attention, there is no legal stipulation which prevents a driver from holding a cell phone.

Stanford told Barbados TODAY the irony of the situation was not lost on the police.

“The police were part of the committee [that proposed the amendments] and the proposal would have garnered the support of the police. However as I said earlier it is still a distraction, but I expect that we would see an improvement in the driving habits of Barbadians.

“ At least all of the focus won’t be taken away from what is happening ahead of you or around you. You should have both hands on the steering at all times and without one of those devices you break that basic rule,” the senior police officer said.

The proposed changes to the Road Traffic Act, including the ban on the use of mobile phones while driving, were first announced by Minister of Transport and Works Michael Lashley at a meeting of the St James South branch of the Democratic Labour Party last month.

Lashley had given few details then. However, he indicated at the time that wheelies would be prohibited under the amended law, which would also make provisions for the licences of public service vehicle (PSV) operators to be suspended after three offences and a minimum age of 25 for anyone who wished to operate a PSV.

- Advertisement -

Headlines

Skills For Youth Employment Project Accepting Applications

Press Release:-  The Ministry of Education, Innovation, Gender Relations and Sustainable Development has signed a contract to implement a Skills for Youth Employment (SkYE)...

Update On Visiting Hospital Ship

Press Release:-  The Ministry of Health and Wellness in collaboration with the Ministry of External Affairs, is coordinating a voluntary medical mission by the...

PM Meets National Health Insurance Committee

Prime Minister Allen Chastanet has concluded a meeting with with the National Health Insurance Committee and consultants from the World Bank. Wednesday night's meeting came...

National Housing Corporation Is Some $60 Million In Debt

The Chairman of the National Housing Corporation (NHC), Timothy Mangal, has disclosed that the entity is in debt in the sum of approximately $60...

More Articles