Batson: Road deaths rising in 2024

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Brent Batson –

Police road safety co-ordinator Brent Batson has said there has been a significant increase in road fatalities and drunk-driving post-covid.

On April 18, around 2.20am, Anand Samaroo, 26 and Josiah Samaroo, 18 were reportedly returning home after getting doubles and drinks, when they spotted a marked police vehicle.

It was reported that Anand, who was driving, was afraid he might be stopped for driving under the influence, speeded up and lost control of his car.

It then crashed into Rituals Coffee House on the corner of Knowles Street, Curepe, opposite Cap’s Bar.

Both men were knocked unconscious and the car burst into flames.

They were removed from the car and taken to hospital, where Anand later died of his injuries.

On April 19 Batson said there have been 32 road fatalities for 2024, compared to 28 for the same period last year.

He added, “Highway Patrol are now seeing drivers do three-four times the legal blood alcohol limit.”

In this file photo, a fire officer uses a lift to place a Nissan Primera sedan on a wrecker after a fatal accident on the Uriah Butler Highway, Chaguanas.

In TT, the legal limit is set at 35 micrograms of alcohol per 100ml of breath.

Sharon Inglefield president of Arrive Alive, a non-governmental organisation that seeks to educate the public on road safety, sent condolences to the family, but said this could have been another preventable collision.

“We are losing too many of our young men, most especially, due to the lawlessness in our country. Drivers continue to drive recklessly, over the speed limits, under the influence of alcohol, drugs, and distracted!”

Inglefield urged drivers again to do the right thing.

“Please consider the consequences of your actions, prior to turning the key of your vehicle. You are in charge of your own safety.

“We agree that everyone has a responsibility and the conditions of our road network needs to be improved. However, we must all adjust our speed and our driving to the road conditions.”

Batson also gave some tips on how to be more road-responsible.

“We will continue our road exercises. It’s on drivers to be more responsible. Use a taxi service or have designated drivers if you know you’re going to drink. Alcohol impairs your decision-making.”

In an interview with Ian Alleyne, host of the Crime Watch TV show on April 19, Anand’s parents said he died at 7pm on April 18.

“We didn’t get to see him. All they say is his leg and other bones were broken.”