By Elesha George
Minor infractions, especially in parking lots, are said to be the cause of majority of the traffic accidents reported in 2019.
“There is a trend where we observe that those parking lots are causing a huge amount of traffic accidents. So, for 2019, we investigated 123 traffic accidents in parking lots,” Head of the Traffic Department, Superintendent Elson Quammie said during the Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda’s end of year press conference on Wednesday, January 8th, 2020.
The Traffic Department also recorded 70 accidents as a result of careless overtaking; 226 caused by rear end collision; 97 hit and runs; 119 accidents as a result of drivers moving from parked positions; 220 driving on the wrong side of the road; 3 due to animals on the road; 73 caused by speeding; and 11 by motorists opening their doors while in traffic.
Quammie said there were overall 2,578 reported accidents for 2019; an increase of 49 reported accidents when compared with 2018 and 445 more than in 2017. He however considers the statistics to be fairly good considering the significant increase in vehicles on the road.
In 2019, there were 21 accidents on major roads; 84 on secondary roads; 198 on secondary and byroads (junctions); 278 while exiting from junctions; and 205 caused by careless reversing.
According to the data, 97 more accidents were investigated in the out districts than in the capital, St John’s — while the traffic department investigated 43 less reports than in 2018 — figures that suggest that more accidents occur on the outskirts of the city.
Five thousand, six hundred and eighty-eight (5,688) traffic tickets were issued during 2019, totalling an estimated amount of $800,000 in revenues. Traffic officer arrested 88 people for violations to include dangerous driving, reckless driving, and driving without a licence.
The statistics also paint a picture of the male to female ratio as it relates to road injuries as men continue to top the list for causing the most injuries while driving. In 2019, of the 251 injuries recorded from traffic accidents, 164 were caused by males, while 87 were by females.
“We had a total of 133 convictions at the St John’s Magistrate’s court. We removed 89 vehicles from off the street, vehicles that were not insured and licensed for the period. We had a total of 895 accidents were caused by male drivers and a total of 262 that were caused by female drivers and 139 by other causes,” Quammie further explained.
There were three road fatalities in 2019. The Traffic Department is now focused on achieving its 2020 vision of zero road fatalities.