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Aug 15, 2012

Businessman’s plan to curb road accidents

In some parts of the world, including Belize, manatees are an endangered species. The sea cow as it is also referred is a perpetual victim of hit and run incidents as they are normally killed by boat propellers. As environmentalists are putting signs in areas frequented by the mammal to reduce accidents, people are also looking for solutions to traffic accidents along the country’s highways. Looking at the stats in the city, there is an increasing number of traffic fatalities on the northern highway between miles one and three.  This past Monday sixty-nine year old Liang Sheng Heng was knocked down and killed. Today, Stephen O’Keke, local businessman and politician, called the media out to the Northern Highway to pitch his concern and propose a solution to reduce the alarming number of accidents.


Andrea Polanco, Reporting

Stephen O’Keke, who is a resident of the northern highway, says that the traffic fatalities in the last three months have him concerned.  He says that that particularly the stretch between flag monument and haul-over bridge, must be addressed.


Stephen O’Keke

Stephen O’Keke, Concerned Citizen/Businessman

“Well I am out here today to draw attention to the fact that the safety of pedestrians and passengers is the collective responsibility of us all and of every driver who uses this road should also be very careful.”


His suggestion, this model of what he calls a “Thumb Bump.”  It is similar to the design of thumb tack; this one is bigger and made from a partly wrought common metal called durilium, which is commonly used to make house-hold appliances. Here is how this will work:


Stephen O’Keke

“So we have this thing called thumb bumps. So what you simply do as it is here, it is driven into the street. I am suggesting this because of the geology of Belize City. There is always the sink, the need to repair and the need to break up the street. With this type of bump you can actually re-use it every-time you have repair the street and to fix it to make it work you don’t have to break up the street you know. You do not need bull-dozers, construction and planning period to get this thing done. To get this thing done we can select the areas and within a week we can get these thumb bumps within the correct positions.”


Andrea Polanco

“So this is what it looks like when you’ve inserted it?”


Stephen O’Keke

“When it has been in place it is almost flat and you can drive over it very comfortably at thirty or forty miles an hour but above fifty miles an hour, it will bump you, it will jerk the vehicle and with that you have the need to slow down.”


“Thumb Bump” is one of O’Keke’s cost-effective ideas to mitigate the number of traffic mishaps. It is one that he designed which he says has a life of about twenty-five years; so is this just one of O’Keke’s many business ventures? He said he has done his research.


Stephen O’Keke

“This is one of the main measures that needs to be looked at because a person driving under the influence of alcohol cannot cause a major fatality unless driving at high speed. This makes it impossible to do, almost difficult to accomplish that. We are suggesting between monument and Haulover, at least four of these thumb bumps spaced in six feet positions.”


Andrea Polanco

“So this will be pretty new for Belize, I believe?”


Stephen O’Keke

“Well in itself because this will be made of metal and every time the vehicle runs over it polishes it so it reflects the sun and reflects the head lamp in the night so you can’t miss it and it is re-usable.”


Andrea Polanco

“So you’re making this suggestion on what grounds…?”


Stephen O’Keke

“And it can be manufactured in Belize so we don’t have to wait for several months for them to made. I designed them but it can be manufactured in Belize by anybody.”


Andrea Polanco

“Have they been tested, though?”


Stephen O’Keke

“They have been tested because they couldn’t just be designed casually. They’ve been designed with all the technical and engineering considerations.”


Andrea Polanco

“Tested where?”


Stephen O’Keke

“The material is made from delirium.”


Andrea Polanco

“Tested where?”


Stephen O’Keke

“On vehicles; on the roads.”


Andrea Polanco

“Here in Belize?”


Stephen O’Keke

“In Belize and of course with all the traffic calculations you need to know how fast vehicles can run over them and what kind of shock it gives to the vehicle.”


Andrea Polanco

“You aren’t just suggesting this as a means of business for yourself though?”


Stephen O’Keke

“Not a means of business that is why I am saying everybody could do it. One death preventable is one death too much. Just imagine, if it were your wife or son, you will want anything to be done; whoever does it.”


O’Keke said that in recent months he made contacts with the respective ministry and the city council. He is yet to get a tangible response from them. Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.

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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19 Responses for “Businessman’s plan to curb road accidents”

  1. Storm says:

    Sounds like a promising idea. We need to improve safety of the roads over the entire nation — too many accidents, too many dead pedestrians. I’ve seen something similar called “Bott’s dots” in the States, and they certainly make you aware they are there if you drive out of your lane.

  2. Small Li Belizean says:

    Nothing new.

    They have these all over Mexico starting at the border.

    Maybe this wanabe artist needs to get out of Belize more often.

  3. it's just that simple says:

    How about:
    1) more cops issuing traffic tickets and seizing vehicles.
    2) lower the speed limits and make arrests when over 10mph, that usually get’s people’s attention.
    3) rebuild the roads from scratch and include sidewalks and stop lights/signs.
    4) people driving without a license or insurance, arrested immediately and sent to jail.
    5) vehicle inspections. Bad vehicles caught on road and unfixable are sent to the chop shop.
    6) repeat offenders & bad drivers: drivers license revoked, jail time.
    7) driver’s test includes being a pedestrian in the most dangerous roads to see how it feels.
    8) hit and run: arrested and prison time.

  4. Belizean says:

    Probably a good idea – anything to slow traffic down and increase safety. Lane dividers are probably needed too such as those leading up to the roundabout at Palotti to avoid the highspeed overtaking that occurs on that stretch of road. The idea he presents is similar to something I saw in South Africa though I did not see this applied in a high traffic area or highway condition. See the link –

  5. Holy Father says:

    Ungubani igama lakho? (What’s your name). O Keke. Never heard of this crature of the Almighty.

    The last Belizean census, there were no O Kekes in Belize. This cannot be a genuine Belizean, but he is definitely a showboat, nothing else, nothing more.

  6. Cruffy says:

    This is a good idea, regardless of who proposes it . just driving to work this morning and TWO accidents in the same area, police and ambulance swarming the area. I don’t live in the US, I live in Belama so I don’t care who proposes speed bumps or traffic tickets , I just don’t want to die on this highway. something has to be done how can you have a highway with no pedestrian area, overpasses or speed control within city limits. remember city limits starts at the Haulover Bridge. Belama 1,2,3,and 4, Coral Grove, Driftwood Bay, Bella Vista are all residential areas that have developed along this highway.

  7. Elgin Martinez says:

    There are more factors to accidents than speeding.What about vehicle inspection to ensure that they are road worthy.

  8. deedee says:

    @Small Li Belizean the guy never said that he was the inventor or creator of the “thumb bump”, he’s simply giving a suggestion as to how accidents may be prevented & fyi its not only in Mexico but all over the world….maybe YOU should get out of Belize & Mexico more often. @Holy Father instead of calling the guy a showboat, why don’t you grasp on to the idea of what he’s trying to get across about preventing accidents??? This is so typical of Belizeans, always bringing down others who tries to make a difference, we will never move forward or make progress with this kind of disgusting mentality….smdh

  9. belizeanheat says:

    Give the man a lee break! Here is an enterprising man who is trying to create something for himself that will also benefit the community

    . At least he is not on the street begging or robbing.

    Don’t listen to the other crabs in bucket that are trying to pull you down.

    all the gang bangers and youth should look to this man as an inspiration of how to help yourself in this life instead or relying on others to take care of you

    You go SIr!
    I wish you all the luck with your project.
    Just keep going and don’t give up or listen to the naysayers.

  10. Rod says:

    He is another mello he was kicked out of Africa for all sorts of criminal activity now is is giving advise to Belize mien only in Belize these people can come and do what they want.

  11. rose says:

    @small Li Belizean, i gussed you cant read and comprehend
    Belizeans= craps in a bag….. i support you Mr. O’keke you cared….

  12. now i see says:

    @dedee. The one that is blind or cant read is you. The man says * I designed them*. Get out from under that stupid rock you live in. Yes its true they have them all over Mexico. To me they are anoying when you drive over them but, they mite be the write thing for that area. If the person goes too fast will cause a worst accident.

  13. cayo bway says:

    Rod and small li belizean (small brain also) you two are 6 and the other is half a dozen. probably can think further than ur damm nose.
    dee dee i agree this is typical belizean style hence thats y we cant ahead. belizean ready to bring u down instead or support u or share some ideas…
    u rod and small lee brain belizean….what u should a deh talk about is the chinese taking over and sooner or later u wont be able to afford not even a loaf of bread……….criticize that…..numb nuts

    y u dont go and do something more constructive than trying to bring down someone that is trying to do good for the community….u never know that the same thing that u r bash may one day save ur same lives…

  14. Small Li Belizean says:

    I agree with U Rod. I bet he is wanted in Africa.

    That is why I asked if he ever went to Mexico to see these bumps because he could never be able to get a visa to the USA or any other country.

    But looks like he can not even go to Chetumal.

  15. Belizean says:

    I knew Rod would find something stupid to say again!!! Even if he won 5 million dollars, he would fret and grimace and curse!!! What an unthankful and ungrateful person he is

  16. Rod says:

    You ever met an honest Nigerian case closed.

  17. Reader says:

    Google “delirium” it’s something mental, not metal. So…what metal are the thumb bumps made of then?

  18. Holy Father says:

    @Deedee. Now what sort of moniker is Deedee. Flashback 1930s canal side, night buckets were dumped into the canals. Guess what they contained?

    Anyone that robs themselves at gunpoint just to be on TV, is a showboat. Anyone that makes phone threats to his own business, is a showboat. Mr. Okeke has done all those things, so he is a showboat.

    Now go wash up before going to bed. Make sure you deedee. Say five our fathers. Good night.

  19. surgery14E says:

    Rod, you need to look in the mirror and see what stupid is. You! Get a life and start doing something constructive with your life.

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