News

Spikes for unruly toll road users

Thursday, February 28, 2013    

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SPIKES are to be placed on the toll road off ramps, to deter motorists from reversing onto the road.

Regulations facilitating the move were approved by the House of Representatives on Tuesday.

A spike is used to impede or stop the movement of wheeled vehicles by puncturing their tyres.

Opening the debate, Minister of Transport, Works and Housing Dr Omar Davies noted that over time, the toll road has become plagued by motorists who -- in an effort to avoid the toll fees -- reverse onto the slip roads adjoining the toll roads.

"This has created great cause for concern due to injuries, damage and fatalities from the collision between these motorists and unsuspecting legitimate users who are exiting the toll road. The last fatality occurred on 22 August 2011," Dr Davies said.

He added that the police have been trying to stop the practice, but due to resource constraints, are unable to provide the physical presence of an officer at the locations at all times.

According to the Regulations, the Toll Road Operator is responsible to retract the device for the use of the road by emergency service providers, and that it is an offence to interfere with, alter, damage, destroy or remove the device.

Dr Davies also said signs would be put in place at strategic locations to advise motorists of the device.

"There is no denying the fact that we are dealing with an unruly bunch that seek to break the law, in order to benefit themselves by not having to go through the toll. Measures have to be taken to ensure that the travelling public is not endangered, so we accept that," said Member of Parliament for North Central St Andrew Karl Samuda.

Meanwhile, Dr Davies said the ministry went through the process of seeking an opinion from the Attorney General's Chambers.

He noted that the ministry was advised by the Attorney General's Chambers that the Road Traffic Act and the Toll Road Act have a legal basis on which spikes may be installed on a slip road.

The Regulations will now be sent to the Senate for approval.

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