Basseterre, St. Kitts, January 10, 2018 (SKNIS): The public education drive on the use of traffic lights in St. Kitts continued on Wednesday (January 10) during the season debut of the radio and television programme “Working for You.”
Head of the Traffic Department of the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force, Inspector Carl Caines, was the special guest this week and shared information about the signal lights that have been erected in strategic areas around Basseterre. These are at the junctions of Cayon and Fort Street, Fort Street and the Bay Road, and East Independence Square Street and Cayon Street/Pond Road and Wellington Road. The lights are expected to decrease automobile congestion while facilitating a more organized flow of vehicular and pedestrian traffic.
Inspector Caines went over some of the basic rules such as, traffic must come to a stop at a red light and can proceed on a green light. He added that pedestrians must not abruptly cross the road, which some often do, but rather use the zebra crossing after the traffic light indicates it is safe to walk.
“My advice to all is to proceed with due care, attention and caution,” he stated. “For the motorists, leave home 15 minutes earlier than you are accustomed to. The 15 minutes [are] for if there are any eventualities, if [there] are any mishaps, if anything should happen on the road.”
“To the pedestrians, you have to wait and cross when it is your turn to cross. … When the little man (on the traffic lights) flashes it is time to go.”
The walk signal may take some time to come on but Inspector Caines urged pedestrians to be patient after they push the button to cross.
He said: “You don’t have to press it two and three and four or five times. You press it once, it will wait and it will turn when it is time to [cross].”
It may take some time for the public to get used to once the lights are switched on later this year. However, the police official noted that police officers and traffic wardens will be at junctions where the traffic lights are mounted to assist persons with the transition and if needs be, to enforce the law.
Inspector Caines said that officials have used various forums such as town hall meetings, visits to schools, media appearances and press releases to educate the public on how the signal lights work and the necessary associated changes such as turning and parking restrictions at various points. He promised that similar activities will continue in the lead up to the commissioning of the traffic lights.