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Feb 28, 2023

What Happened to Breathalyzers, Speed Guns Donated Back in 2021?

In July of 2021, we reported on a donation of sixteen speed guns and twenty-six breathalyzers with five thousand mouthpieces to the Department of Transport. Back then, the equipment was handed over by C.E.O. in the Ministry of Economic Development Doctor Osmond Martinez to Chief Transport Officer Dian Vasquez and its focus was to promote road safety.  It cost tens of thousands of dollars, but is there any urgency to get them in use?  Today, the media caught up with the Project Manager of the Road Safety Project Two, Zane Castillo who says that there are legislative glitches preventing the use of the equipment, almost two years later.


Zane Castillo

Zane Castillo, Project Manager, Road Safety Project II

“The Department of transport still has those equipment. As I understand it, there are some legislative glitches within the law that needs to be ironed out and some amendments need to be made before they can be fully utilized. I know, after speaking with the Department of Transport, that they are looking at making amendments to legislation to be able to fully bring these into effect. I would hope that it happens sooner rather than later because we really do need to curb the number of incidents on the roads.”



“But are some of them in use right now? Are they being used? The last time we spoke to the minister, he said all of them are being used.”


Zane Castillo

“Well I cannot speak to what the minister said; perhaps he is the best person to answer that question or other members of the department. But chances are that they are being used, but it’s not something that you would see being used often especially the breathalyzers will only be used when the officer believes that there is reason to do a sobriety test on drivers. So it is not something that you would do regularly at a checkpoint unless there is a reasonable cause to use it. I would have hoped that it would have been legislated by now and whatever kinks there are in the laws would have been ironed out, but it is not within my purview. It also has to do with the level of work that the attorney general has to do so I am hoping that that can reach the top of the priority list so we can get it ironed out.”



“Also do you know if there are any trainings that were conducted to ensure that the officers who will be actually using these equipment know how to effectively use it?”


Zane Castillo

“When they were handed over, yes, training was provided to the officers so they are fully knowledgeable of how to use them.”


The donation of the equipment was made possible through partnership of the Government of Belize and the Caribbean Development Bank. That loan from the CDB was to support interventions to build the country’s road safety management capacity, improve the safety of road infrastructure and improve post-crash care.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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