Transport Minister Renward Wells.
By KHRISNA RUSSELL
Deputy Chief Reporter
THE government is eyeing an October deadline for the enforcement of amendments that were made to the Road Traffic Act back in March.
According to Transport and Local Government Minister Renward Wells, the months leading up to the enactment will allow the government to roll out an education campaign on the new road rules. “The road traffic amendments are going to be implemented by the first week in October,” Mr Wells told The Tribune outside of Cabinet yesterday.
“The only thing that we need to do now is put forward the appointed day notice as you know for it to actually become law.
“The reason why we chose October is that we wanted to be able to do the PR [public relations] campaign for the Bahamian people to cause them to understand exactly what it is that we are intending to do in regards to being able to turn left on the stop light, in regards to communication devices and also too some other issues that have been going on with road traffic.”
The amendments criminalise both the use of phones while driving and driving with an open alcoholic beverage.
Motorists will also immediately have to produce proof of insurance and a driver’s licence upon the request of a police officer.
The amendment also requires the payment of outstanding traffic offence fines before renewing a driver’s licence.
Driving instructors will further be prohibited from holding electronic devices under the new law but the stipulation will not apply to those driving emergency vehicles or a vehicle that is lawfully parked and not impeding traffic.
The amendments also mean motorists will be able to make a cautious left turn on a red traffic light.
The amendments were passed in a single sitting of Parliament earlier this year after they were tabled in September 2018.