Transport Minister: Don’t turn new highway into racetrack

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

A sign on the newly opened San Fernando to Point Fortin Highway reminds the public that pedestrians, bicycles, mopeds and agricultural machinery are prohibited on the thoroughfare. – Jeff K. Mayers

As he informally opened the new segment of the highway from Grant’s Road to the new La Brea interchange on Sunday afternoon, Works and Transport Minister Rohan Sinanan appealed to drivers not to transform it into a race track.

“The road is of world-class standard and you might be tempted to drive over the speed limit. I beg you to obey the speed limit. It is very tempting to see how fast your car can go. This is not the road for it.”

He tipped his hat to the five local contractors who worked on the project from 2016 – Namalco, Jusamco, Junior Sammy, General Earth Movers and Lutchmeesingh – saying they did a wonderful job.

“I am very proud of our local contractors. Their work is of the highest quality.”

With the smooth black carpet to traverse, Sinanan said he expected drivers might be tempted to accelerate as they were driving on less than satisfactory roads before.

“Please take your time on the road. It is very nice to drive on, very encouraging especially if you got accustomed to driving on the old Southern Main Road. This is a dream.

“If you all drive within the speed limit the roads are designed for, we would minimise accidents.

“Most of the fatal accidents we see is when people exceed the speed limit. Once you stay within that speed limit the road network would be a lot safer.”

He urged drivers to drive slowly and safely so they can familiarise themselves with the signage, including the different speed limits, on the new road network.

The road fatality figure for 2023 is close to 70 and the TTPS said recently that August was one of the deadliest months for road traffic accidents.

“The month of August has proven to be one of the deadliest for 2023 with 12 persons losing their lives in road traffic collisions compared to six in 2022, an increase of 100 per cent,” Road Safety Project Co-ordinator, Sgt Brent Baston said in a statement last week.