Since Wednesday Belize has seen four fatal traffic accidents that took the lives of 10 people. It is a concern not only for residents but for the police department as well, especially when speeding and not wearing seatbelts play a major role in these accidents. Today, Commissioner of Police, Chester Williams, told us how the police will step up their patrols on the highways to discourage these practices.
Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police: “We will be embarking on a campaign starting today where we will have enforcement on the highways. As you would know that traffic, national traffic, do have the responsibility of policing the highways where policing is concerned and we work in tandem with them most of the time and the police focuses more on dealing with crime issues but we do believe that the time has come that we need to go back and play a more active role in traffic enforcement. So just today I directed the Commander of National Traffic Mr.Stevens to ensure that every day we have a highway patrol on the Philip Goldson Highway and one on the George Price Highway. What they’ll be doing as well is to issue traffic safety pamphlets that drivers can use as a guide in terms of how to use the highways safely. We have to look at the issue of seat belts, to enforce the seat belt laws. Persons who are driving and not using their seat belts on the highways will be ticketed. As it relates to texting and driving we don’t have a law to deal with that even though it is tantamount to driving without due care and attention, to prosecute it will be difficult so maybe it’s something that legislators will have to look at to see if we can have some amendment to the law to make provisions to make it illegal to text and drive. As it relates to these things,what we want the highway patrols to do is to do sporadic checkpoints in different areas and see how we can enforce these different violations.”
As it relates to speeding, ComPol stated that the police department is not in possession of a speed gun and are not sure if the Traffic Department has one.