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Oct 29, 2007

Police ask drivers, cyclists, pedestrians to be careful

Story PictureTonight, Raul Rodriguez, a resident of Orange Walk Town is a lucky man. This morning he was discharged from the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital after he was knocked off his bicycle around eight on Sunday night by the Mile Eight community on the Western Highway. Although Rodriguez’s bike was damaged extensively we understand that the cyclist received only minor injuries. Although the driver of the vehicle that hit Rodriguez stopped to render aid, on Wednesday night another cyclist was killed by a hit and run driver. The police say they are concerned about what has been unfolding on our highways and appeal to all to be careful.

Jacqueline Godwin, Reporting
In just the past five days two cyclists in separate incidents on the Western and Northern highways have been knocked down. Ladyville police have yet to find the person responsible for the death of thirty-two year old Biscayne resident Herbert Gillett better known as “The Peacemaker.”

A.S.P. Joachim Sabal, Commanding Officer, Traffic Branch, Belize City
“We are aware of the increase of road traffic accidents within Belize City and Belize district.”

Commanding Officer of Belize City Traffic Branch, Assistant Superintendent of Police Joachim Sabal says most accidents are caused by people who simply do not adhere to traffic rules.

A.S.P. Joachim Sabal
“You see, the users of the road they need to understand that they have a very important role to play. They have a role to play and as much as we are trying to educate them, they have their role to play.”

Authorities believe based on the results of a post mortem conducted on Gillett’s body, the driver was moving at high speed at the time he struck his victim by mile twenty-eight on the Northern Highway in Biscayne Village. The driver did not stop following the collision.

Marcia Gillett, Sister of Deceased
“He was going home at the time. He wasn’t so far from his house [and] before he reached they hit him.”

Sources tell News Five that the police now have the identity of a suspect, a resident of Ladyville and have been looking for him. A.S.P. Sabal says while the case is not a Belize City matter, motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians should do all they can to ensure safety when travelling on our roadways, especially where driving conditions are poor.

ASP Joachim Sabal
“Because if you are an experienced driver for that part and you are driving in an area on the highway that is dark, I do not see any need why you should exceed the speed limit at all. Just take your time and be careful.”

The police have been issuing brochures such as this one to educate the general public.

A.S.P. Joachim Sabal
“For the pedestrians, if there is a sidewalk it is advisable that you use that sidewalk. And if you want to cross from either side of the road, you must ensure that you look both ways to ensure that the traffic is clear. For cyclists, it is very important to wear your helmet. If you want to change direction from one side of the road to the other, then you must use hand signals and you must always stay on the right hand side of the road.”

Sabal says cyclists must also ensure that they are wearing light clothing and their bikes are equipped with safety features such as a light and reflectors.

Meanwhile the family continues to appeal to anyone who knows the identity of the driver and vehicle responsible for the death of thirty-two year old Herbert Gillett to please contact Marcia Gillett at telephone number 601 – 7252 or the nearest police station.

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