Categories: Local News

Functioning of Traffic lights delayed

The commissioning of the newly installed traffic lights in Basseterre is being postponed because of some missing parts needed for proper functioning. When they will be delivered remains a mystery as are the non working lights.

The lights that were installed last Friday and set to begin operation this week,   plans which have now been shelved, while authorities work on getting the proper regulations in place.

Head of the Traffic Department of the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police force Inspector Carl Caines speaking on radio indicated that the regulations would be in place in a short matter of time, but no date has been given for the commissioning. “I don’t believe it will take any length of time. It can be done within a week or two. I believe when the lights are switched on everything will be in place,” Caines said.

He added that the new protocols will also have stricter rules on Jaywalking. “That is something the traffic safety board looked and we have sent our recommendation as to what needs to be and the law makers will take it to Parliament and we also have the legal drafts personnel working closely with the police department.”

Caines also addressed public concerns about drivers and pedestrians ignoring the lights. He noted the technology isn’t present in the lights to detect those people at the moment. “But if someone does run the light there could be an accident and of course we don’t want that to happen.”

Caines also urged individuals to give themselves some space when the lights actually turn to green to avoid a collision with a driver that may still be in the intersection.

“When the green light comes on you should give it a little space before you move because other drivers may still be in the intersection at the time. You can’t say the light is on green and I am going go. You are supposed to pause a while. So unless your passage is clear you can’t move.”

Minister of Transport Ian ‘Patches’ Liburd speaking recently said a traffic flow study was done to determine the feasibility of traffic lights around the busy intersections of Basseterre and it concluded that traffic lights were needed in major intersections in the town area.

“Having done that it confirmed the need for installation of traffic lights at major intersections of Basseterre,” Liburd said.

The Intersections identified were Fort Street, Cayon Street, Victoria Road, the Bay Road and for street, as well as Wellington Road and East Independence Square Street.

Liburd noted that the current lights installed is phase one of the programme with other intersections to have similar upgrades in the future. Phase two of the project will look at installing lights at upper Wellington Road, Sandown Road and the upper Bay Road.

He said that the traffic lights mounted around Basseterre came at an estimated cost of USD$572,000.

Liburd also addressed concerns about having the lights operational during the busy Christmas and carnival season. “It is perhaps the best time to sensitise now that you have more people in Basseterre and have a physical sensitization,” he said.

Loshaun Dixon: