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Jan 26, 2022

Department of Transport Introduces Speed Guns

The Department of Transport is introducing sixteen new speed guns, following a training session during which traffic wardens were taught how to use the device to determine the speeds at which motorists are traveling along the highways.  The number of road traffic fatalities has been alarming and, not surprisingly, majority of those accidents are attributed to speeding.  While legislation has been in place for some time, the department is fairly late with the implementation of speed guns.  News Five’s Isani Cayetano has that story.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

The use of radar guns in law enforcement to measure the speed of moving vehicles is being introduced by the Department of Transport in an effort to deter motorists from exceeding the designated speed limits across the country’s highways.

 

Tony Balona, Traffic Warden

Tony Balona

“Since there’s been a lot of accidents, I would say, because of speeding, I guess this is like a good training for us.”

 

Paul Lopez

“Would you speak to how the training has been so far in terms of learning this device.”

 

Tony Balona

“Well it is going, I would say, good, very, very straightforward.  To me, I am new to this so now I would say that yes, I’ve learned a lot.  And then, like I said, the instructor is very straightforward.”

 

Tony Balona, along with several of his colleagues from the Department of Transport, is learning how to use the handheld device.  The training is being provided by the Government of Belize. Rodwell Ferguson is the Minister of Transport.

 

Rodwell Ferguson

Rodwell Ferguson, Minister of Transport

“Legislation is already in place, it’s just that we never had the guns in place.  So we were able to get the guns from the Road Safety Project and now we are now training these people so that they can go back and train the others.  We are on the right track.”

 

Paul Lopez

“How many of these guns do you have and where would they go?”

 

Rodwell Ferguson

“We have sixteen and they will go across the country, based on population.  So if Belize City has much more traffic then the majority would be in this region.  Then we go to the Cayo District , the northern part and then the southern part, but every district will get some.”

 

Paul Lopez

“What does the ministry hope to attain through the introduction of this equipment to road safety?”

 

Rodwell Ferguson

“Hopefully the reduction of traffic accidents.  While we are trained to protect the drivers and their passengers, it’s for their own protection, but because we are trying to implement so many rules then the people would get mad with us as the Department of Transport, but it’s for their own safety.”

 

Speed guns consist of a radio transmitter and a receiver.  They send out a radio signal in a narrow beam, then receive the same signal back after it bounces off the target object.  It’s a procedure that, when done properly, can be tendered as evidence of speeding in a court of law.

 

Tony Balona

“Now we don’t only know about using it but also how to align it, for example, one of the alignment test would be like the scope alignment.  So he also instructed us or taught us how to fix the device so now we can use it.  An example would be like at court, we need to have the device very properly aligned before just like going out there in the field and have use of it.”

 

According to Minister Ferguson, the idea is to reduce speeding on the highways.  That message, he says, also applies to ministers of government.

Rodwell Ferguson

“You can pass a vehicle by your own knowledge and realize that it’s going beyond fifty-five miles.  With the gun now, you can specify and record it, that this vehicle was moving in excess of the speed limit in this country.  So we hope that we can reduce the speeding on the highways, and this also goes to government vehicles because sometimes we as ministers, or a vehicle might be going under a certain speed to reach a certain meeting, but we are also putting ourselves in danger.  So if we can drive within a certain speed limit we should be good.”

 

Isani Cayetano reporting for News Five.


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