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Dominica weekly is a personal weblog about the nature island of Dominica.


These days Dominica’s roads are jammed with vehicular traffic at all hours and it has become imperative that all the rules of the road are to be observed by all if traffic order is to be maintained and accidents.

Just last week there was a motorbike accident which claimed one young man life and left a young woman nursing serious injuries.

I can remember a time when bicycles had to be licensed, requiring lights, proper brakes, a bell and even a registration plate. In addition, cyclists were required to observe and adhere to the traffic laws and codes. But somewhere along the years all this went out the window and bicycle users seem to have no relevant laws as related to the Highway Code, and weave in and out of traffic, do not observe traffic laws and oft times behave as though they are untouchable.

My intention here is not to come down on cyclists but to point out that using the roadways whether as a pedestrian or operating a vehicle/bicycle, is a serious undertaking that requires the same responsibility. And it’s time the Traffic Department to crack down and ensure that the use of bicycles on the roadways is in regulated with all other forms of transport.

Until legal means are put in place with regards to operating a bicycle, then cyclists need to take responsibility for their actions and realise the trauma caused by their accidents.

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double parking in Roseau

Rush hour traffic is ridiculous, too many ignorant drivers, no Parking – In town that is .

These are just some of the comments and complaints made after speaking with friends and other drivers.

For those of us who drive on a daily basis will recognize that many of these remarks are true. I don’t believe this traffic situation will change and may even grow to create greater inconvenience; one of the many things we must accept and live with here on our tiny nature island.

However, there are more serious concerns than just rush-hour traffic and no parking in town – which has continued to escalate and puts us all in danger, drivers and pedestrians alike. Now that cell phones seem to have taken over, have you noticed how many one-handed drivers are on the road nowadays, because their cell phone is firmly clasped in the other hand? Have you also noticed how many are distracted from driving sensible as they engage in cell phone conversations?

I’m sure there are those us who have narrowly missed being involved in a collision as a result of a cell phone driver pulling out in front of you, or almost neglecting to stop as you’re crossing the road? In most European countries and many American states hand held cellphones are now illegal, and for good reason. Perhaps that would not be such a bad idea for Dominica.

Drivers (especially drivers) are not the only guilty party that put us in danger. More and more pedestrians are crossing the road anywhere! Some neither look left nor right for moving traffic; some take all the time in the world before they can cross road; and again users of cell phones seem to lose track of where they are. Others attempt to use the designated pedestrian crossings, only to find drivers ignoring them.

It seems we have become a nation of people unwilling to demonstrate respect and courtesy to others. I am curious to know how often the Traffic Department makes a survey of what is needed relative to these situations.

Then we have bus drivers, transporting passengers from to and from their homes, who stop wherever and whenever to pick up and drop off passengers; give no regard to how much interference and inconvenience this might cause to moving traffic. I’m sure many of us drivers, if not all, have gone through this experience more than once and in different areas of the town!

But with the ever increasing number of cars and drivers on the road; there is no immediate solution to this traffic situation, particularly at peak hours and on heavily travelled streets. Can anyone help us? Because it’s apparent the police can’t handle the situation.

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