The President of the National Association of Driving Schools (NADS), Kingson Jean, has welcomed a notice from the police advising owners of stray animals that the animals could be seized or shot.
But while welcoming the notice, Jean expressed the view that the situation had been allowed to fester for too long without serious action being taken.
He disclosed that as a motorist, he has had two encounters with stray animals.
Jean recalled that while riding his motorcycle a cow ran across the road near Caribbean Cinemas at Choc.
“My motorcycle ran straight into that cow,” the NADS President told St Lucia Times.
“My daughter was at the back and flew over my head,” Jean stated, adding that she sustained injuries as a result and had to be taken to hospital.
He said last week there was another collision with a cow in the same Choc area near Caribbean Cinemas.
According to Jean, a cow ran across the road resulting in a slight collision with his vehicle.
He recounted that when he hit the brake, the vehicle behind him hit the back of his car.
Bu the NADS President lamented that the owner of the animal did not take responsibility for what happened.
He observed that there have been many collisions involving vehicles and stray animals resulting in injuries and even death.
“It is really posing a danger to people’s lives on the whole and the government has to take this seriously,” Jean declared.
He expressed the view that the owners of the animals realise the danger, but because they believe they have ‘free rein’ to do as they please, they continue to let their animals loose on the roads.
“If they know there are consequences for their actions, there will be a change,” Jean observed.
According to the police, under Section 26 of the Animals Act 2013, any animal found tied, wandering, straying, or lying in such a manner as to cause obstruction, danger, damage or injury to any user of the highway or a public place; will be seized, or where not practicable, shall be shot or immobilized by a duly authorised individual.
“All costs incurred during the processes, shall be that of the owner of the animal,” a police statement earlier this week observed.
The notice stated that anyone who contravenes Section 26 of the Animals Act, commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of $5,000 or to imprisonment for 2 years or both.