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Responsible drivers needed: How many more must die?

The carnage left over from drinking and driving and/or reckless driving on Trinidad and Tobago’s roads has become a norm today.  No research has been done yet, according to the Arrive Alive President, to determine how much alcohol consumption contributes to tragic vehicular accidents.  However, it seems unmistakable that more than a few of these deaths occur around public holidays and weekends or involve persons who left nightclubs during the early hours of the morning.

Every time a life or multiples lives are lost, especially the lives of children or young persons, the country becomes emotional and the debate begins about who should be blamed and whether the Government is not doing enough to prevent these tragedies. As a society, people do not take personal responsibility for their actions on the road whether it is driving intoxicated, recklessly or without enough rest; and the tragedies keep recurring.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago has been plagued by vehicular accidents.
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago has been plagued by vehicular accidents.

While travelling in a taxi recently, the radio station host asked whether bar or club owners had a responsibility to its patrons to make sure they were sober enough to drive home when they left those establishments.

But bar owners and night club owners are not babysitters for persons who choose to drive while intoxicated or be transported by people who are intoxicated.  The responsibility lies with these adults and they should be held accountable for their own actions.

It is true that the Government has a role to play but this cannot extend to people’s behaviour and their bad choices.  Thus, I disagree with those who solely place blame on the government for not doing enough to prevent these tragedies.

Individuals must take personal responsibility when they get behind the wheel after drinking or a passenger must recognise if the driver is drunk or tired.  Innocent lives continue to be lost as a result of the reckless and senseless behaviour that is pervading Trinbago society. And it disheartens me as a citizen of this country to see what is happening on our nation’s roads.

How many more must die before this society wakes up?

About Julie Guyadeen

Julie Guyadeen
Julie Guyadeen has a BSc. in Government with a Minor in International Relations and Postgraduate training in International Relations both at the UWI St. Augustine Campus. She is a firm believer in civil society having an active voice.

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  1. Too many people are afraid to seem uncool for calling out a drunk driver (nobody walks with ‘vex money’?) or simply ignore the fact that buzzed driving is the same as drunk driving. The government has a role to play too. They are not blameless although they are not to be held solely responsible. We have laws that are not properly enforced and the government can do a better job with enforcement and make more money in the process. Also why are there no statistics? Surely there are numbers from police records that can be collated.

  2. I agree with your point holding bar owners and night club owners responsible especially when our ‘culture’ is to have a cooler with drinks in our trunks….responsibility lies with each individual indeed