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HIGHWAY ON VALIUM by Rae Samuel

posted 10 May 2016, 10:05 by Gerry Kangalee
As a veteran road warrior/highway child it is amusing to see the impact of the newly enforced speed limit on the nation's drivers.

Usually a long slow line means 'stop and gawk' driving caused by one car in the median or road marking at 10.00 A.M. on a busy day. But to see a whole highway on valium…imagine taking 5 minutes to pass the car in front of you; inverse drag racing and then cutting back into the slow lane.

Why? Your car, faithful to its concept design may build up to cruising speed and lead you straight into the ticket book of Cpl. Lookout. Fast lane? He he he…what name so? Well now those police cars with blaring sirens and flashing lights will reach wherever they are going much sooner.

Is this a trick by Colm Imps-bert (those disrespectful Steel workers!) to get the ruling class, labour leaders and other aspirants to sell their Audis, X6's, Q7's, Porsche Cayennes and Mercedes A.M.Gs?

A representative at Sterling Motors told me last year that they see a lot of these cars in the garages when they are not able to operate at speeds they were designed for. What? Was my Merc smell 'effluent and vomity? Nope. Pan Trinbago's office was upstairs Sterling motors for the 2015 international Panorama and I was registering for media accreditation, but it was the closest I ever got to so many luxury cars....until now.

Now I can pull alongside any Prado, Range Rover or B.M.W. 7 series and they cannot leave me in the way their purchases cause so much of our foreign exchange earnings to leave the country. My wildest dreams: drag racing with a 16 wheeler at 40 kmh and they cannot pass, unless they want to meet a licensing officer or motor cycle cop who will ask them "How yuh spell Mitsubishi' again?” Will the next traffic jam be 'total policing 2016?'

Of course Keithos and Imbert (the’t’ is silent folks) would claim this is a balancing act: gas gone up and speed gone done down. Long live the Minister of Works who goes on television to tell us that tractors on secondary roads in built up areas cannot exceed 35 kmh. Still wondering why Manning was reluctant to hire him as a front line Minister? Oh Jah!

Folks this is the traditional way of dealing with a situation: sans discussion, research and examination of our car culture in 2016 a law is enforced that was written and updated in a context some 20 years ago. To quote Minister 'Hinds-sight': road design, car design, population shifts have changed significantly in the last 2 to 3 decades.

What of driver education? How has driving behaviour changed? What is the car population and what is its distribution? What is the purpose of a speed limit and does it have to apply under all conditions? What happens at night? How soon do people own cars? From what I have seen so far the brakes come off and the rubber really hits the road.

Like the present S.S.A. amendment Bill, it was passed first and thought out later...What's that you say? It is the same administration handling both matters? Nah! Yuh lyin' man!
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