BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – THERE are laws that strictly determine how motorists should utilise the Federation’s roadway but none to govern the behaviour of pedestrians. However, the Traffic Department has indicated its intentions of proposing legislation which would penalise pedestrians for improper use of the roadways.
Inspector Cromwell Henry, Head of the Traffic Department, spoke exclusively with SKNVibes concerning the Department’s observance of some pedestrians who jaywalk and appear to have no regard for other road users.
“We are giving consideration to improving the safety of pedestrians by recommending legislation that would guide or control the way pedestrians use the street. We have legislation that controls the way vehicles use the street and it only fair that there is also legislation that controls or directs or guides pedestrians’ use of the street; because pedestrians are more and more creating obstruction in the street and creating problems for drivers.”
In providing an example of this, the Inspector spoke of the “conflict” which transpires between motorists and pedestrians at The Circus, Basseterre.
“Pedestrians are walking from one end of Fort Street to the next and would walk through the centre of The Circus rather than using the sidewalks and the pedestrian crossing in the area. So you would have vehicles going around the roundabout in the Circus and a pedestrian would show up from around the corner and walk across the centre of the road. That can’t be right. You are creating a conflict between yourself and a vehicle and that needs to be addressed. We are, of course, giving consideration to legislation that would control the way pedestrians use the street.
“Even at pedestrian crossings, you would find a pedestrian crossing might be a couple of feet away and a pedestrian would choose to cross the street wherever he feels like without any regard for anyone else. That, again, is something that we are looking at.”
Inspector Henry explained that the legislation, if passed, would probably take the form of an amendment to the Traffic Act.
He said he could not give a timeframe within which this law would be passed or even if it would be passed, but “hopefully within the first quarter of this year some formal recommendation should be before the Legal Department. That is the timeline we have given ourselves”.