Holiday traffic safety operations have gotten underway this week with intensified road enforcement operations that will continue throughout the holiday season and into the new year. The Traffic and Roads Policing Unit has increased its traffic stops and high visibility patrols, with the aim of reducing traffic collisions, cracking down on traffic offenses, and reassuring the community through an increased police presence. DUI offences continue to be a major concern during the holiday season, and a focus of the campaign, but officers are also targeting illegal tint, speeding, and persons driving while disqualified.
“The temptation to drink and drive increases over the holidays, as people get into the festive spirit,” said PS Butler of the Traffic and Roads Policing Unit, “and it is not our objective to ruin anyone’s holiday. But increased road enforcement is needed to deter drinking and driving and the serious accidents that can result. We will continue as well to focus on excessive tint and persons choosing to drive even though they have been disqualified from doing so. Such behavior will not be tolerated, and carries stiff fines.”
There have been seven DUI arrests since the beginning of the month, with at least two of those arrested having a blood-alcohol content of over twice the legal limit. So far officers have also issued 26 tickets for tint, 39 tickets for other offenses, and 12 TORS (no insurance, certificates of roadworthiness, expired licenses, or excessive speed). Officers have also made 2 arrests, one for driving while disqualified and one for driving without being qualified.
"This operation is not just about enforcement, as that takes place throughout the year," said Robert Graham, Superintendent of Uniform Operations, "This operation is specifically focused towards ensuring that the community is safe and that incidents of drink driving are prevented and reduced. Drink driving kills and wrecks lives and we ask that the public have a safe holiday period and work with us to reduce drink driving across the island and our sister islands."
As in past years, the RCIPS is also supporting the National Drug Council in their annual Designated Driver and New Year’s Eve Purple Ribbon Bus Campaigns. The Designated Driver Campaign began on 1 December and continues throughout the holiday season. The campaign is an initiative among local restaurants, which offer to provide the designated driver of a party with complimentary soft drinks throughout the evening. The NDC is currently still in need of sponsors for this year’s Purple Ribbon Bus service, which provides free bus service on New Year’s Eve from 9:00PM to 4:00AM. Interested companies, organizations, or individuals should contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on donating towards the campaign.
In addition to traffic enforcement, the RCIPS is sharing safety messages on other holiday safety topics, such as business security and online safety, including appearances on local media and social media posts. Crime prevention tips on financial scams and fraud, especially online, as well as tips on securing homes and businesses against crime during the holiday season, will be discussed.
“The arrival of the holidays means an increase in commercial activity, businesses extending hours and shoppers carrying more cash than usual,” said Pete Lansdown, Detective Superintendent. “Unfortunately, this can provide opportunities for criminals, whether in the real world, or in an online environment. We always try to raise awareness about the risks out there, so that people can avoid becoming a victim of crime and enjoy a holiday season free of worry and inconvenience.”