Editorial

Safety First

On the way to Stann Creek there is a narrow bridge that links the Hummingbird Highway across St. Margaret’s Creek. The bridge, if we can call it that, is just a slab of reinforced concrete connecting the separated portions of the highway. It has no protective rails, and while it is not particularly dangerous during the day, at nighttime it becomes a deadly hazard because there are no lights and no signs to guide the unwary driver.

On the Garifuna Settlement Day weekend three cars fell off this bridge and plunged some twelve feet below. Five persons died there, two by drowning.
The bridge crossing has become dangerous as more and more people drive the highway at night. There are no reflectors; no lights, and there are no caution signs anywhere in sight. Farmers who live in the area say the bridge is a death-trap, causing dozens of accidents each year, most of them non-fatal.

It may not be possible for the Government of Belize to build a new bridge anytime soon, but there are safety measures which can be put in place immediately.
The first thing to do is to plant four sturdy posts, two at each end of the bridge, with reflectors to alert motorists who approach at night.

These posts need not be of concrete. Ordinary utility poles will do.
Next, the approaches to the bridge should be painted with bright yellow stripes on the roadway. It may be necessary to put in noise-making speed bumps as a further precaution.

These measures combined should not cost more than $50,000. They are modest, temporary measures. But they will save lives!
Later, when the Government can afford to, it should build a decent two-lane bridge over St. Margaret’s Creek. This will show that the Barrow Administration cares about the safety of the many who have to use the Hummingbird Highway, and is willing to go the extra mile to protect them.

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The public outrage which followed reports of the rape of two women detained overnight at the Independence Police Station is going to cause the UDP to pay a heavy price at the polls if the Minister of Police does not take a firm stand to punish the offenders.
Police apologists are saying that this wasn’t rape. It was consensual sex!
There is no such thing as consensual sex between prisoner and police guard. If the women were free and not detained and had agreed, that would be consensual!

But to say that the women willingly agreed to grant sexual favours to the policemen detaining them shows a serious mental inconsistency.

Since when has it become acceptable for policemen on duty to engage in sexual activity at the Police Station, Mr. Police Commissioner?
No matter how you look at it, there has been a serious violation of the law which calls for stern and swift action.
Policemen seem to be running amuck these days! One career officer was caught red-handed with a suitcase of marijuana! Now there is the allegation of rape at a police station!
And still no corrective action?

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