Thursday 20 February, 2020

TTPS issues Carnival tips, warns against wearing camouflage clothing

Members of the public are being cautioned against purchasing or wearing camouflage clothing, no matter the colour.

Public Information Officer, acting Superintendent Wayne Mystar, issued the stern warning at the Police Service weekly Media Briefing on Wednesday.  This, as he acknowledged the temptation to do so ahead of the annual Army Fete which takes place on Friday.

"The wearing of camouflage patterns, it doesn't matter the colour, it's against the law; it's on our law books because we're having a lot of reports where persons are purchasing camouflage material to attend Army Fete which is on Friday coming here. We want to remind members of the public that the only persons that are authorised to wear camouflage are members of the Trinidad and Tobago Regiment and certain sections of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service."

'Partake in Carnival but be Road Safe'

For 2020, 17 people have lost their lives in road traffic accidents compared to 14 for the same period last year, representing a 21% increase. The 17 include nine drivers, five passengers, two pedestrians and one motorcyclist. 

In expressing regret over the fatal accidents, Road Safety Coordinator Corporal Brent Batson appealed to motorists to take driving seriously as he warned that drunk drivers will be targeted by the police.

"The risk drunk drivers expose to other road users cannot be tolerated and again we are warning all drivers, the TTPS will focus on alcohol-impaired drivers on the roadways."

He reminded that the legal limit is 35 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 ml of breath with the consequence for a failed breathalyser test being a $12,000 fine or three-year prison sentence.

"That can seriously "mash-up" the Carnival for you so it’s really not worth it."

Corporal Batson also offered tips like designating a driver, enlisting a wrecking service and remaining alert for possible drunk drivers.

"Stay alert for drunk drivers on the roadways and keep your distance from them, try to take an alternative route and call 999 so they can dispatch a Highway Patrol or Traffic Unit. Tell-tale signs of alcohol impairment include, continuous lane drifting, inconsistent speeds, hitting the brakes unnecessarily, driving with headlights off at night and dangerous wide turning."

Marijuana is decriminalised not legal

Possession of fewer than 60 grammes of marijuana and less than 10 grammes of cannabis resin might be legal but using it in public isn't. 

Corporal Batson urged citizens to inform their international friends of this law as the TTPS prepares for an influx of tourists for Carnival.

"Section 5A. (1) states: “A person who smokes or uses cannabis or cannabis resin in a public place commits an offence and is liable, on summary conviction, to a fine of two hundred and fifty thousand dollars and to imprisonment for five years.”

"Again we remind the public that any person who has in his possession – (a) more than 30 grammes, but not more than 60 grammes, of cannabis; or (b) more than five grammes, but not Members of the public are asked to like and follow the TTPS via our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages for the latest news and information on matters of interest to the general public. 3 more than ten grammes, of cannabis resin, commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of TT$50,000."

Partying and heading straight to work is dangerous

The TTPS Road Safety Coordinator acknowledged that many Trinbagonians party during the week and then head straight to work. However, he said these individuals might be unaware as to how tired they actually are. Noting that fatigue impairment is equally dangerous as alcohol impairment, Corporal Batson urged drivers to take breaks if feeling weary or stressed, have a meal, get sufficient rest or use park and ride or buddy systems where possible. 

Meanwhile, Sergeant Orcil Phillip of the Traffic and Highway Patrol Branch had some tips for parents regarding ensuring the safety of their children during the Carnival season. He said it was important for guardians to keep eyes on children at all times and ensure they have adults' contact information on their person.

Motorists were once again reminded to ensure they park in well lit, high traffic areas and hide all valuable possessions from the naked eye.

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