If newly appointed Traffic Chief, Ian Amsterdam, gets his way, motorists, especially bikers who feel that they are “untouchables”, had better think twice.
In a clear message that he intends to regularize what many believe is a runaway traffic situation by dealing with errant motorists, Senior Superintendent of Police, Amsterdam, has vowed to ensure that the ranks under his command are not intimidated by motorists who break the law with impunity and believe that they can get away with it.
The Traffic Chief was referring directly to those bikers who ride around without helmets, paying scant regard to the presence of traffic ranks.
He was also referring to those drivers who operate their private cars for hire.
Amsterdam said that he is quite aware of the practice of motorcyclists, especially those with the “big bikes”, paying disregard the traffic laws.
“You have these types with their big bikes…It’s difficult for the police to have to be chasing them around the place…,” he said.
“But whenever we catch them, we will deal with them because nobody is above the law,” he assured.
All motorcyclists, who operate a bike above 49cc, are required by law to wear a safety helmet.
The Traffic Chief told this newspaper that he also plans to deal with the proliferation of private hire taxis operating throughout the length and breadth of the country.
He acknowledged that there is some concern for the limited parking space being taken up by these illegal operators.
Almost every conceivable parking space in the city is being converted into taxi parks, causing severe congestion in an already overcrowded city in terms of traffic.
The Traffic Chief singled out the Kitty Public Road area for special attention.
“The buses cannot park to put off passengers…but a lot of the cars there are private hire,” he stated.
Amsterdam said that the ranks under his command at Traffic Headquarters, Eve Leary, will be assisting their counterparts in ‘A’ Division to address the problems.
“We’re getting a lot of complains about the private hires,” the Traffic Chief stated.
The enforcement efforts of the Police Traffic Department so far this year, appear to be bearing some fruit with serious accidents and fatalities showing a decline, when compared with the same period last year.
They are focusing on speeding and drunk driving, which have been identified as the main causes of fatal accidents.
The Traffic Chief had previously said that although motor vehicles are the main targets of their enforcement, ranks will also be focusing on pedestrians, pedal cyclists and motorcyclists.
Of the 140-odd road deaths last year, 60 were pedestrians.
In fact, when the number of pedestrians, pedal cyclists and motorcyclists were added together, they accounted for 106 deaths last year.
“A lot of times we say the cars are responsible (but) we don’t look at the people who are walking anyhow on the road, you don’t look at the pedal cyclist who riding any side of the road and in dark clothes; a lot of times they contribute to most of the accidents,” Amsterdam explained.
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