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Tougher Fines For Drivers Who Kill

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis.

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis.

By Rashad Rolle

Tribune Staff Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

PRIME Minister Dr Hubert Minnis said the government will increase penalties for killing in the course of dangerous driving.

The US cited traffic fatalities as a major concern in an advisory this week, noting there was a 29 percent increase in traffic-related deaths from 2017 to 2018.

Dr Minnis said the advisory was “coincidental” as he has already told Cabinet ministers “fines must be more harsh than what we’re seeing”.

“Vehicular manslaughter, we must look at that because it’s insulting for individuals who have been knocked or hit and suffer when they die and it’s just basically a slap on the wrist (for the perpetrators),” he said. “I think the fines need to be a lot more harsh. I’ve spoken to the Law Reform commissioner and asked her to look at traffic fines, violations, etc, so we could have proper legislation to deal with ordinary society.”

Currently, people who kill in the course of dangerous driving pay a maximum fine of $10,000, a vexing fact for many.

National Security Minister Marvin Dames echoed Dr Minnis’ view.

He said: “I’ve had the opportunity to speak to families who would’ve lost a loved one who has been struck by a careless driver only to find out at the end of the day that many of these persons are still walking the streets as if nothing happened. We have to look at how we can bring some balance there. As you can see, the amount of traffic accidents, it’s crazy.

“We should not be having that much on an island that is seven by 21. There are a lot of reckless drivers. That’s why we introduced the law with cell phones and we are looking at breathalyzers because it’s on the books. You have a lot of people sitting behind the wheels of these vehicles who are plastered. Taking a life is a serious thing and you have helpless people out there who can tell you stories of loved ones who are gone and persons who have been responsible for their deaths are still walking the streets as if nothing happened.”

Comments

TheMadHatter 5 months ago

Please put some stop signs on all them side roads along Bernard Road please

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proudloudandfnm 5 months ago

Until Bahamian drivers start respecting law enforcement no fine will change a thing. Time for the police to step up and earn the respect of our drivers. Our police are as apathetic about traffic laws as the drivers. That has to change, if not our roads will never be safe.

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joeblow 5 months ago

Fine, increase the penalties for those who kill in the course of driving--- if you can catch them. Why not increase the penalties for those immigrants who overstay their visits too? $1000 is not enough!

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PTIBahamas 5 months ago

It is also the Legal Responsible of The Government of The Bahamas to ensure that every Motor Driven Vehicle, on our streets, meet some basic form of Roadworthiness Inspection Standards through the implementation an annual PTI Inspection.

The Periodic Technical Inspection (PTI) of vehicles is part of a scheme designed to ensure that vehicles are in good condition from the point of view of safety and the environment during their use.

Recently the government signed a deal with EAA Company Limited to ensure that the second-hand vehicles being imported from Japan to The Bahamas are safe and roadworthy based on local standards, (but there are no local standards for roadworthiness in the Bahamas)

Vehicle inspection as viewed by the Europian Union (EU):

A properly maintained and fully functioning vehicle meeting all safety requirements is less likely to be involved in a road accident. Roadworthiness checks not only make sure your vehicle is working properly, but they are also important for environmental reasons and for ensuring fair competition in the transport sector.

There are 2 types of assessment: on-the-spot roadside inspections and periodic checks, where owners have to take the vehicle to a specialist centre.

Periodic checks EU law ensures that most vehicles and trailers are inspected at regular intervals. It provides a basis for checking that vehicle throughout the EU are in a roadworthy condition and meet the same safety standards as when they were first registered.

These checks cover brakes, emissions and the vehicle's overall condition. Drivers may also be required to produce recent inspection reports or proof the vehicle has passed the mandatory roadworthiness test.

Safe vehicles play a critical role in averting crashes and reducing the likelihood of serious injury. The United Nations World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations sets safety standards for motor vehicles and provides a legal framework that Member States may apply voluntarily. Vehicles that meet the requirements of these standards are less likely to be involved in road traffic crashes and, in the event of a crash, are less likely to cause serious injury. However, only 40 countries currently meet all priority safety regulations. - the Bahamas do not currently meet all priority safety regulations.

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bogart 5 months ago

IF PEOPLE KILLIN PEOPLE BY ....SPEEDING.....JUS ALSO INCREASE FINES FOR SPEEDING......TO CURTAIL DA SPEEDING.....FIRST...FORE DEY MOVES ON.....ALSO FINES ALSO NEEDIN TO BE APPLIED ON JAY WAKIN PEDESTRAINS.....WHO MAKES MOTORISTS HAV TO SLAM ON BRAKES LIKE DERE DERRIERE BACK BUMPER ....CAN SAVE DEM........likely get enuff fines to balance da national budget an reduce da national debt...

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Schemer18 5 months ago

Please give them collected fines to the victims family. I haven't heard these so called legislators said anything about giving those collected fines to them families as a compensation.

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Schemer18 5 months ago

He increasing the fines on Bahamians, but what about the fines to be increase on the illegal migrants, & the illegal poachers? I don't think these politicians head screw on right, blind sighted.

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John 5 months ago

In addition to stiffer penalties, the government needs to implement Drivers Education and dDrivers School for offenders. Firstly at least 90 percent of everyone leaving high school will find themselves behind the wheel of a vehicle at some time in their lives, at least until driverless vehicles become the norm. So government should implement Driver's Education as part of the 12th-grade curriculum in all government schools, even if students have to pay a portion of the fees for actual driving classes (practical) or leave it as an option for when they graduate. And secondly, from the way many drivers are conducting themselves on the roads, obviously some are bypassing proper driving schools or need retraining in their driving skills (and habits). So when persons are charged with infractions such as runni9ng a red light, driving in a manner dangerous to the public, speeding, they will be sent to driving classes as part of the penalty. The classes will focus on the fraction the driver committed as well as general safety on the streets. And those who cannot pay the monetary penalty can opt to take additional classes. That will be a great step in making the streets safer, and eventually, it may come to a point where drivers can have licences suspended for repeated infractions like speeding and running the red light or driving while intoxicated..

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PTIBahamas 5 months ago

Great Point, Suggestion Already Presented to Government:

“The Company” would be willing to expand the Drivers Ed Program, at its main location; by developing an Advanced Driver’s Course, should sufficient space be made available for such development. The Advanced Driver’s Course allows New Learners a safe enclosed environment to achieve driving competence upon being issued driver’s permit. In Addition, The Advanced Driver’s Course can be used to Re-assess licensed drivers – driver competence as directed by the Court System or Police Road Traffic Division. Other markets for the Driver’s Program are segmented into a series of groups based on their individual needs and different demographics. These segments are: • Beginner drivers. • Adult drivers. • Drivers under a court order • High schools. • Commercial drivers

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