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Bahamas' Accident Response Times 'Consistent With Those Across Caribbean'

By RIEL MAJOR

Tribune Staff Reporter

rmajor@tribunemedia.net

IN the wake of the United States’ Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) cautioning tourists visiting the Bahamas about slow response times to traffic incidents, Superintendent Mareno Hinds said their response time is consistent with the response times across the Caribbean.

The OSAC report said: “If involved in a traffic accident, Bahamian law states the vehicles should not be moved until a police officer arrives to investigate the accident. The police can be slow to respond to vehicle accidents.”

Speaking to reporters at a press conference on Wednesday, Supt Hinds said they saw the report and their view is slightly different.

He said: “We believe that there is always room for improvement. We believe that within the parameters that how it is that we investigate traffic accidents. We seek to get better; however, we believe that our traffic response times are consistent with times across the Caribbean and indeed the world.”

The report also warned visitors to exercise extreme caution when renting vehicles.

“The Embassy continues to see a significant number of moped accidents, resulting in serious injury as a result of alcohol/drug impairment, driver inexperience, or inattention by the moped operator and/or other motorists,” the OSAC report said.

Supt Hinds said the amendments that will criminalise driving with an open alcoholic beverage will be passed in the Senate soon.

“We believe,” he said, “that in very short order that will become law. If people are keeping up to date with what is happening it has been passed in the House of Assembly.

“We’re waiting on it to be passed in the Senate and obviously it has to be signed and gazetted. Once it’s signed and published in an official gazette it becomes law that gives us power to cite drivers.”

Supt Hinds said driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is an offence.

“As our laws are presently constituted it is not an offence to drink alcohol. Now you have to fall within the parameters of being considered drunk or impaired which makes it then illegal to so do," he said.

"A police officer’s greatest tool is suspicion and we are all adults. Based on our suspicion, based on your experiences you can say that I suspect that this person may be impaired. Once you suspect that, there is a protocol (we) have to go through."

He added: "You, the police officer, thinking that person is impaired cannot say definitively that person is impaired...a physician scientifically says so that it holds up in court."

According to National Security Minister Marvin Dames, there were 63 traffic fatalities last year which represented a 29 percent increase from 2017. He said unfortunately, resulting from those 63 accidents were the deaths of 69 victims, reflecting a 28 percent increase from the previous year.

Of the traffic fatality victims by island, 42 of the fatalities occurred on New Providence, 11 on Grand Bahama and 10 on the remaining Family Islands, he said.

Comments

tell_it_like_it_is 2 months ago

" we believe that our traffic response times are consistent with times across the Caribbean and indeed the world."

I thought April fools jokes were finished with, but that's a good one. If the rest of the world was as slow as us in responding to traffic accidents most of those people would have already died. SMH

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Bonefishpete 2 months ago

Why rush when one is only being transported to PMH?

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Well_mudda_take_sic 1 month, 4 weeks ago

You ain't kidding! PMH has become a place where you go to die thanks in large part to the failed policies of the Minnis-led FNM government.

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screwedbahamian 1 month, 4 weeks ago

Since no Caribbean or World accident response time statistics were offered to support the claim, one can only conclude that this is an opinion and truly not a fact. In my opinion only in the Bahamas are the effected public told at press conferences of opinions and not facts. Perhaps this it the reason for so much unsuccessful prosecution by our Law enforcement departments of Criminals in our Paradise Bahama land.

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TheMadHatter 1 month, 3 weeks ago

We're just as sorrowful as the rest - so we cool. D-average. The D stands for dandy.

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Chucky 1 month, 4 weeks ago

truth is, even if we are on par with other banana republics in responce time, doesnt mean anything good, just means were similar in providing slow service.

another truth, police are acting as claims inspectors for insurance companies when it comes to accidents.

people should be able to just exchange info and move on from accodents unless someone is hurt. its a civil matter for the most part.

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