148 traffic tickets to motorists for various traffic violations including seven persons charged for drunk driving (D.U.I) in Tobago this weekend as Tobago Carnival continued, with thousands of Trinis flocking to the island for the festivities. The TTPS defended its rollout of additional resources on the island to ensure law and order were maintained during scores of parties and massive J’ouvert celebrations. COP Erla Harewood Christopher defended the operations on the island given the 600 percent year-on-year increase in road traffic deaths in the Tobago Division for 2023.
Drivers were also charged with driving a motor vehicle, though not a holder of a Drivers Permit. A Tobago businessman and a heavy goods truck driver, who were both on their second DUI charge, were fined $19,000 and $14,000 respectively. In total, Tobago Magistrate Leander belted out $54,400 in fines to the drivers for DUI and Driving without a Driver’s Permit. Driving without a seatbelt was reported to be the most ticketed offense. The special traffic unit also arrested eight drivers who appeared before Magistrate Anslem Leander on Friday morning.
Sgt Brent Batson who is also part of the enforcement team currently in Tobago, appealed to all road users to exercise care and caution and comply with road traffic rules. He stated, “We aim to reduce the risk of injury and harm to the public in general, and ensuring safe, responsible road use is a key part of that strategy.
While many complained the police were interrupting their fun and being punitive and oppressive for no apparent reason, Sgt Batson said: “To the persons who cannot appreciate our role in road safety, just speak to the families, friends, and colleagues of the seven persons who lost their lives as a result of road traffic accidents in Tobago for 2023. We all have our part to play in road safety, so please help the TTPS in our efforts to save lives and keep families together by practicing safe and responsible road use.”
The TTPS also remained vigilant amidst insults from partygoers regarding enforcing the stipulated end time for many events.