Today is a sad, sad day in country St. Maarten. As a mother and with a heavy heart I turn to the people of country St. Maarten and ask for patience and vigilance when operating motor vehicles on public roads. My sympathy goes out to the family of yesterday’s [Monday’s – Ed.] tragic accident and everyone else and their loved ones who have been negatively affected by traffic incidents in the past.
My people, as summer vacation is approaching please keep in mind that our children will be utilizing our public roadways and sidewalks a lot more than usual, and with the numerous fatal accidents that have been occurring lately I can’t stress enough the urgent need for us as a community of road users to operate our cars, trucks, bikes and scooters with a heightened sense of caution and patience.
We had an accident involving an 8-year-old three weeks ago at late hours of the night that we haven’t had an update to this present day. Yesterday [Monday] another family found themselves grieving and in deep pain with the loss of their 4-year-old daughter, granddaughter, niece, cousin, friend; a little girl who was robbed of the opportunity to experience life.
Every child in this country is ours as mothers, grandmothers, and aunts. Our children are valuable and we are all responsible for treating them as such. Young bikers dying in traffic accidents, people irresponsibly utilizing the roadways at high rates of speed and jeopardizing innocent lives has to come to an end. Irresponsible traffic behavior cannot and should not be the norm. Our streets are too small and too congested to accommodate the reckless driving patterns that are developing among some road users. Slow down before the next casualty is you or someone you love dearly. We cannot afford to lose any more innocent children.
The developing trend of recklessness on our roads needs to be addressed not only with enforcement by police, but also by means of a public awareness campaign by government, to address the dangerous behavioral patterns that seem to have become the norm.
* Children 10 years old and younger should sit in the back seat with their seatbelts fastened.
* Do not sit babies on your lap while driving. Be responsible and wise – put babies in a car seat in the back seat.
* Children sitting in the front, use seatbelts and keep your arms inside the car.
* Bikes passing motor vehicles should do so with extreme caution.
* Buses, please use utilize the bus stops properly and pull completely off the road to allow proper traffic to flow.
* Pedestrians, please utilize the crosswalk where and when available.
* Motorists, be courteous and allow pedestrians to cross the roadways.
There needs to be a concentrated effort to address what’s going wrong in order to change the course of events, and not accept wrongdoings as the norm.
As the stress of daily life and living has increased, so has road rage. I implore everyone to please be an example to your children. Parents, hold your children’s hands when on the roadside and teach them the proper roadside ethics. Keep in mind that they are children and public roads are fatally unsafe at present, so I advise against unsupervised activity involving public streets and roadways.
We are building a nation and for this we need our young ones. Let’s use technology and our traditions of the village raising the child to enhance safety and enlighten our society. This is who we are and have always been as a people, we need to embrace our past traditions and combined them with present-day norms to our advantage.
Leader United St. Maarten Party