Prime Minister supports strengthening punishment for traffic fatalities

POSTED: 05/12/11 12:58 PM

St. Maarten – Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams has expressed her support for a joint effort between the Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Economic Affairs, Tourism, Transportation and Telecommunications to strengthen punishments for road traffic accidents that lead to a person’s death. She announced the position as Wednesday’s Council of Ministers press briefing. She also used the occasion to express her condolences to the family of Silvia Lynch, who died in a road traffic accident on May 6 in Sucker Garden.

“I can very well understand the feeling of powerlessness that the family must be going through at this time after the very tragic event that led to the death of the late Silvia Lynch. I support those calls for a review of legislation or drafting of legislation as far as the matter of traffic in general on St. Maarten is concerned,” the prime minister said.

Lynch’s death has led to an outpouring of support for her family and prompted Chairman of parliament’s permanent committee on economic affairs, tourism, transportation and telecommunications Jules James to call for a parliamentary inquiry into the death and the road network.

President of the Democratic Party Micheal Ferrier has pressed Members of Parliament to move quickly to increase the penalty for causing a fatal accident to six years. The current maximum penalty for this offense is two years. Justice Minister Roland Duncan has also said that he considers the revamp a priority.

“It is very unfortunate that it takes these types of events, tragic events, for the need to review particular pieces of legislation or legislation in general, to become very apparent. In other words to realize that there is no legislation underpinning some of the actions that were apparently part of the accident that took the life of the young lady,” Wescot-Williams said.

The specific issues that will deal with making people accountable for their actions are vested in the penal code based on advice from experts in the transport sector. The prime minister expects both ministries will collaborate to draft new punishments, but has also stressed that MPs also have the constitutional right to submit initiative legislation.

“I hope that these two paths will somehow lead us to having something on the table for a discussion in parliament, be it by the proposal of government or on parliament’s own initiative that can give us some confidence that in the future, if according to reports that what transpired in the manner that it transpired, that at least those responsible, could be held responsible,” the prime minister said.


Did you like this? Share it:
Prime Minister supports strengthening punishment for traffic fatalities by

Comments are closed.