Stop at the red to help stop crime

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

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Dear Editor,

I think the concern over violent crime has made many of us become unfortunately distracted, and in some cases feel exempted from some of the "softer" rules of law in our society, such as obeying the traffic lights.

I tremble with nervousness to see how our motorists break a simple but relevant rule such as to stop at the red light, because I suspect that the same impatience, disobedience, idiocy, and disregard for the rights of others, in one running the red light, is the same which manifests itself in one unlawfully taking another’s life, property or sense of security. It is like the claim that a sin is a sin, regardless of how innocuous it might appear.

Consider this: In a formal experiment which was done with toddlers, each toddler was individually left by him or herself and instructed not to have candy which was placed in close proximity to them, and then observed. Each was later monitored throughout life with various social and developmental indices. The toddlers who obeyed the instruction not to have the candy showed significantly higher rates of success in their academics, careers, inter-personal relationships, personal health, and keeping in favour with the law later in life. Just as with something as minuscule as candy, so it can be with traffic lights, littering the streets, etc.

Bible, in its Book of Proverbs, states that "iron sharpens iron", and it is so with the laws that we break, even the simple ones. Lawlessness thrives where there is lawless behaviour. So just as how the devil supposedly cheers when evil intentions get into the minds of the good and bad among us, and we act on them, I figure, on the same basis, he does the same for the intentional breaking of the red light.

Therefore, the solution to our crime problem, though not being as easy as taking candy from a baby, might be as simple as a baby’s obedience in not having the candy if he shouldn’t, even if he could, and perhaps people obeying the law, even those pertaining to non-violent acts.

Andre O Sheppy

Norwood, St James




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