By MORGAN ADDERLEY
Tribune Staff Reporter
A MAN is dead following a traffic accident early Monday morning on Carmichael Road.
The Tribune understands the victim to be Tito Ferguson, a former police reserve. Mr Ferguson was reportedly in his late 40s.
According to the Royal Bahamas Police Force, shortly after 2am on Monday officers were called to the scene of a traffic accident on Carmichael Road and Cedar Way, at the entrance of Bahamas Faith Ministries (BFM). The incident involved a man riding a motor cycle which was involved in a collision with a truck.
The victim died at the scene.
Assistant Superintendent Craig Stubbs confirmed yesterday the driver of the truck remained on scene and assisted police with the investigation.
ASP Stubbs added there was “no physical evidence” that speeding was a factor in the incident.
Last week, amendments to the Road Traffic Act were passed in the House of Assembly after being tabled last September. Lawmakers passed amendments that will criminalise both the use of phones while driving and driving with an open alcoholic beverage. The amendments will have to be passed at the Senate level and then published in a gazette before they are officially enacted and become law.
When asked if police will be adding more officers to the Traffic Division to assist with patrol, ASP Stubbs noted all officers have that duty.
“All officers on the (RBPF) carry out traffic duties,” he said. “All. So any member of the (RBPF), other than who are assigned to traffic, can enforce any traffic law.”
Regarding how police will police this new law, ASP Stubbs said: “Through visual observation and other technology we will be able to police.”
Road traffic accidents are now the 13th highest cause of death in the country and without legislative changes, the government believes this will continue.
According to National Security Minister Marvin Dames, there were 63 traffic fatalities last year which represented a 29 percent increase from 2017. He said unfortunately, resulting from those 63 accidents were the deaths of 69 victims, reflecting a 28 percent increase from the previous year.
Of the traffic fatality victims by island, 42 of the fatalities occurred on New Providence, 11 on Grand Bahama and 10 on the remaining Family Islands, he said.
The amendment also requires the payment of outstanding traffic offence fines before renewing a driver’s licence.
Driving instructors will further be prohibited from holding electronic devices under the bill but the stipulation will not apply to those driving emergency vehicles or a vehicle that is lawfully parked and not impeding traffic.
A person failing to adhere to these provisions would be liable to a fine not exceeding $1,000, according to the amendment however Transport Minister Renward Wells told The Tribune last week this would be reduced to $500.
The amendments also mean motorists will be perfectly within the parameters of the law if they make a cautious left turn on a red traffic light.