New Road Traffic rules come into effect next week

New Road Traffic rules come into effect next week
Transport minister Renward Wells

Cellphone use while driving officially a crime on Monday

NASSAU, BAHAMAS- Amendments to Road Traffic laws and regulations to aid the flow of traffic and criminalize the use of electronic devices while driving will come into effect next week, according to Minister of Transport and Local Government Renward Wells.

In his communication to parliament yesterday, Wells warned the Box Junction Regulations and Fixed Penalty Amendment are already in effect.

“The yellow box junctions have been placed on a number of major thoroughfares throughout New Providence and are represented by yellow crossed diagonal lines in the form of a box,” he said.

“They are in place to enhance safety and to keep traffic flowing at critical intersections.

“A simple rule of thumb is to only enter a yellow box junction when there is enough space on the other side of the road for your vehicle to completely clear the box without stopping.”

The Road Traffic (Amendment) Regulation and the Road Traffic (Amendment) Act (2019) will come into force on Monday.

“The amendments require a driver to pay outstanding fines for traffic offenses before he is permitted to renew his driving license; require a driver to immediately produce a driving license and insurance certificate upon the request of a police officer; and prohibit the use of any hand-held communication devices while driving,” Wells explained.

Additionally, the new regulation permits a driver to cautiously turn left on the red light if there is no pedestrian crossing the intersection and no approaching vehicle from the traffic having the right of way.

“This is intended to allow traffic to move, with minimal risk provided that proper caution is observed, without having to wait for a green signal,” he said.

“That caution requires each driver to come to a complete stop and ensure that the way is clear prior to proceeding.”

The transport minister noted his advisory necessary given significant changes in behavior of the motoring public, adding it is integral motorists are aware of the upcoming enforcement date.

The law will also make it illegal to drive with open alcoholic beverages.

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