Department of Transport Warns Public of Consequences for Violating Road Safety Regulations

Department of Transport Warns Public of Consequences for Violating Road Safety Regulations

Last week Love News took to the streets to find out how many drivers and passengers are following the new regulations on seatbelt use.  The findings showed that the majority are not in compliance, and enforcement is severely lacking.  Indications are, however, that the Department of Transport has begun collaboration with other law enforcement units to begin enforcements.  Today, the department is sending a warning to the public that there are consequences to breaking the new Road Safety Regulations. For clarity, the warning aligns with Statutory Instrument Number 146 of 2023 which came into effect on March 1.  It deals particularly with the use of seatbelts for all passengers in a motor vehicle, the speed limit regulation, and the prohibition of using electronic devices whilst driving. Deputy Chief Transport Officer at the Department of Transport, Peter Williams says that the department will be making it public notices each time a person is prosecuted for violating the regulations.

Peter Williams, Deputy Chief Transport Officer: “As soon as we begin to prosecute persons we will be making that information public. Any convictions that we may have we will be making that information public so that persons can see that we are serious. We also plan on coordinating our efforts with the Belize Police Department as well as the municipalities to ensure that we have a coordinated effort in terms of enforcing this piece of legislation. I must admit I saw the report that was done on Love FM, I think it was a pretty good report as well I might add, and we want to let the public know that we are going to be taking this piece of legislation seriously because it contributes to the rate of fatalities that has been affecting us here in Belize and so we don’t want the public to think that this is just another piece of legislation that is just going to be shelved, no. We have every intent to prosecute any and everybody who is found in contravention to that piece of regulation.”

With the new regulations in effect, transport officers are being trained on how to prosecute the cases in the courts.   

Peter Williams, Deputy Chief Transport Officer: “We have initiated our training initiative with, we started with some of our DOT personnel, we had a session today and we’ve had a session with our officers in San Pedro, our counterparts in San Pedro, wardens who are employed by the San Pedro Town Council they have been trained and we do intend to continue these trainings. Essentially we want to look at the preparation of the case file for these offenses. We need to look at what constitutes the offense right ? How to guide the officers in detecting or identifying these offenses and how they can prepare a strong case so that when the matter goes before the court we are likely to have a successful conviction before the court.”

Williams added that the department will be coordinating with the Police Department and the nine municipalities to enforce the legislation.

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