The President of the National Council on Public Transportation (NCOPT), Godfrey Ferdinand, is in support of the implementation of a a system of demerits for drivers who break traffic laws.
But although the measure is said to be on the statute books, Godfrey Ferdinand believes a lack of political will has prevented its enforcement.
“There have been several recommendations about that in terms of the demerit points system – these recommendations are there, but none of the ministers have taken it seriously and to me that is why we are in the position we are in,” Ferdinand told St Lucia Times.
The NCOPT President expressed the view that having a demerit system in place will cause drivers to be more cautious because they will be reluctant to have their driving licenses suspended or revoked.
In reference specifically to minibus drivers, he declared that they would not want to take chances with their “daily bread.”
According to Ferdinand, the demerit system along with the use of breathalysers and the implementation of other measures would help reduce the carnage on the roads.
He said without enforcement, motorists will take chances.
“I have heard persons say ‘Oh well, you can go and report me – nothing will happen’ because nothing happens. It’s just a lot of talk, talk, talk. We need to stop the talk and put measures in place,” Ferdinand told St Lucia Times.
He said with regard to the demerit issue that most times it pertains to the will to implement a measure.
“Sometimes individuals are afraid that they will lose political mileage over taking strong measures. Strong measures will affect others so people – the technocrats would suggest it, but the authorities are afraid to implement it because it will go down in the history books as ‘That person is the one who did that’,” the NCOPT President observed.
But he said when road traffic measures are enforced, lives are being protected.