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STREET VIBE: Arrive Alive dead wrong to blame me for fatal accidents

“I am not in the employ of the TTPS, I am not in a position to instruct and or assign police officers on how or where to detail. Nor am I in a position to purchase speed guns and/or breathalysers to detect drunk and/or speeding drivers.”

The following Letter the Editor regarding culpability for this week’s fatal accident in Arima was submitted to Wired868 by Rudy Chato Paul Sr of D’Abadie:

Photo: The scene of a vehicular accident.
Photo: The scene of a vehicular accident.

After another “deadly crash” late into Monday night, in which several lives were lost, we hear another version of the blame game. This one from the president of “Arrive Alive,” Ms Sharon Inglefield. I take Ms Englefield’s analysis rather personally when she argued that we are all responsible for the deaths since: “Each and every one of us who have sat back and done nothing” are to blame.

To begin with, Ms Englefield, I am proud to acknowledge that I did not vote for any of the political misfits who occupy the corridors of power and who engage in everything else other than their primary responsibility, which is to make laws. Consequently, I am absolved from any actions they may engage or fail to engage in.

The responsibility of passing laws does not fall within my portfolio, as a “Professional Low Life.” If anything, those who see it fit to elect and reelect these political misfits are to be held accountable.

Furthermore, since I am not in the employ of the TTPS, I am not in a position to instruct and or assign police officers on how or where to detail. Nor am I in a position to purchase speed guns and/or breathalysers to detect drunk and/or speeding drivers.

Since police officers only take orders from their seniors it would be disingenuous to attempt to cast blame on them all; they merely follow instructions.

This, of course, excludes the creative ones who take the initiative to engage in small hustles at the side, be it extortion or robbery. If caught, they sometimes get “suspended,” and mostly with pay.

Photo: A police officer helps his colleague with his stripes.
Photo: A police officer helps his colleague with his stripes.

Further clarification requires that I am not in the employ of the MOWT whose mandate includes road construction, including roundabouts. As a voracious reader I never heard, saw nor read any place where Arrive Alive called for a roundabout at Tumpuna Road and the CRH when the highway was being was widened.

I recall winning a small wager, a soda, with a friend when I bet that they were going to install a light when the time was ideal to build an overpass or even a roundabout. But for those with recall, the contract for the widening the highway, in the Santa Rosa area, went to a close associate of a current minister—who, like the current minister, remains clueless.

Some of us may even recall instead of building the road, material was stored in one large pile, heading towards the clouds. The only thing the contractor was ever able to construct was something that looks like a “walk over” which was intended to accommodate UTT, Omera Campus.

It gets better. After the contractor was fired, he turned around and sued the state. And despite the courts giving MOWT a couple extensions to respond, that particular file remained mysteriously buried. Needless to say, the contractor won the case and was rewarded, again, by the State, despite having done nothing.

Arrive Alive was silent as the proverbial church mouse then.

Ms Inglefield, neither am I am associated with the DMV in any capacity. As a matter of fact, I hate the idea of having to even pass close to that sorry institution. As I celebrate 21 years of repatriation, I recall being told in 1995 that DMV was being “upgraded.”

Photo: Finance Minister Colm Imbert. (Courtesy Ministry of Finance)
Photo: Finance Minister Colm Imbert.
(Courtesy Ministry of Finance)

I heard the last regime managed to construct a building in someplace in Caroni. Meanwhile, the current regime, still hell-bent on portraying them as “a bag ah teef” refuses to take any steps at upgrading that institution. But we have been assured by Minister Clueless that what we want is “change we can feel.” And at least, “we haven’t rioted yet.”

So, Ms Inglefield, to come and tell us that we are all responsible for the carnage on the nation’s road is as insulting as the TTPS telling us that we are all responsible for the crime phenomenon; or the ‘fix me first’ gang. Many of us, the vast majority, drive safely. If we didn’t, we’d most likely be among the dearly departed.

Making more laws are useless if they are not enforced—like the use of cell phones while driving.

And of course the novelty of the breathalyser and the speed guns have worn off.  So it’s back to business as usual. With Christmas in the air, and Carnival around the corner, anyone who vaguely understands our culture can verify that the recklessness on the roads will continue, as we find reason after reason to celebrate.

Even the wakes feature alcohol and late nights which then translates to speed.

AboutRudy Chato Paul Sr

Rudy Chato Paul, Sr, is passionate about gardening, music and writing and boasts post-graduate certification in Anthropology, Criminology and Sociology. He also studied Theology, which is why he is actively seeking to make Trinidad a better place rather than waiting for divine intervention. 

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24 comments

  1. When you have no answers, blame everyone.

    • Honestly, I don’t balme Rudy for his response. Especially in response to this:
      “Each and every one of us who have sat back and done nothing”, said President of Arrive Alive Sharon Inglefield commenting on a horrific crash which killed six people on Monday night.”

  2. Steups….dais all that letter deserves….

  3. The same applies for other failures of the public service. Public servants (the relevant authorities) are paid to enforce; fail to do so, then make public statements saying that the public must do their part. The public do not have the responsibility to enforce, traffic laws, regulate where people build houses, regulate where businesses are set up, etc…. and off course the media does not call them out on their bs

  4. I don’t see how because I have voted I am to blame for This accident, Maybe the author should present himself so I can have a good alternative, but so far he has not…….

  5. Have I missed something?

    “I take Ms Englefield’s (sic) analysis rather personally when she argued that we are all responsible for the deaths since: “Each and every one of us who have sat back and done nothing” are to blame.”

    If he does his part to discourage his friends and family from driving dangerously then why is he taking offense? Clearly not directed to him in that case.

    But to say “Many of us, the vast majority, drive safely. If we didn’t, we’d most likely be among the dearly departed.” has got to be a slap in the face to everyone who’s lost someone in an accident that was not their fault.

    Safe driving is our collective responsibility – as a nation. Changing the *culture* that allows us to think it’s ok to speed or drive “buzzed” or distracted or tired – that is all our responsibility.

    So I’m not understanding why he’s taking this personally. Unless, as I said, I’m missing some context.

    • I don’t know Ms Englefield’s full statement so won’t comment on that. As far as our collective responsibility, I find that sounds nice but I don’t know how practical it is.
      I’ve never even been driven by the vast majority of my family and friends. I have no idea who is a good driver and who isn’t.
      And for my friend who does have a heavy foot, I have told him so. But I certainly don’t nag him every day and I don’t think it is reasonable to expect me to do so.
      I’ve no problem with people asking others to be better drivers. I just can’t see how that in itself addresses much. Not unless you are in the car with them at the time.

    • What I get from the article is that lots of people do not obey the law unless there are penalties that are enforced. So the highways in South Carolina are generally clean, not just because people like how it looks, but because there is a US$1000 fine that IS ENFORCED. And the highway patrol are on the road day and night. THE COP does not have a highway patrol whose sole duty is to patrol the nation’s roads…day and night. Everyone knows that there are no police on the road after 3pm or before 6:30 am. My take is that he is blaming the people with the power to do something about it. Where are the traffic light cameras, the speed guns(at day and night)? There seems to be only 1 speed gun iun TnT. So if they in South, it’s ole mass in the North.

    • Good point Kaluka. You said it better than I did! Doesn’t necessarily negate asking your partner to drive safe. But it is much more useful.

    • Agree Kaluka. Lasana I do think that expectation is cultural. There’s a mindset we have that certain things are ok, and I think that’s what she’s talking about. And that comes from liming and telling your friend he’s too drunk to drive and offering to drive him home. Or telling a friend she shouldn’t be texting and driving. We have a passive approach, but when you lose a loved one in that way, you feel a lot more strongly about it. And the question becomes why don’t we do more and say more before we experience a tragedy that changes that mindset. I think that’s where she’s coming from.

    • Okay. I can understand that in the context you suggested Nicole. And I’m sure people will have plenty opportunities to be their brother’s keeper during the Carnival season, for instance.
      I would try to stop my friend from getting behind the wheel if I thought he or he was drunk.

    • Yeh exactly. And nobody wants to be a designated driver. I think that’s where she’s coming from. And this is a tough time of year for her I imagine. There’s always fatalities during this season and mourning families. And they’re a first point of contact. Must be hard.

    • We love our loved ones-but not enough to spare them from coming to identify gruesome bodies from accidents. Or getting that horrific phone call. We should love our loved ones enough to drive safely and responsibly. The traffic laws are not there to use during peak hours and/or when police are around-although that is who we are as a people. We always seem to need somebody to be looking at us. We need to always be looking out for ourselves and others. Why isn’t there a hotline to send tips on reckless and dangerous driving? Maybe more car cameras need to be used. And maybe road safety should be taught in schools so the young ppl can point out to parents when they breaking the law and hopefully the next generation can be more responsible.

  6. I often read about victims of road accidents being given “bad drives”

    those that tailgate then zig zag in & out of lanes like it’s a video game, shoulderdrivers & overtakers who sneak past lines of traffic then shove their way back into lanes
    & then go their merry way leaving the carnage in their rear view mirror.
    Bad/dangerous/a**holedrivers are also to blame.

  7. Like wow!!! Loved dis!!! Ife Smith Leila Shah take a read

  8. I think she is tired of the media calling her everytime their is an accident .