Minister of Home Affairs, Information and Public Affairs, Wilfred Abrahams, has urged motorists to “remain off the roads unless it is critical” for them to be outside.
He made the appeal during a La Soufriere emergency update on Government’s national cleanup to remove volcanic ash from the roadways, schools and other state-owned buildings.
Personnel from the Ministry of Transport, Works and Water Resources began the cleanup of the highway and several major roads earlier today, but according to Minister Abrahams, some of them were forced the halt their work, fearing for their safety.
“One of the major complaints we had today, and one of the reasons why some of the cleanup had to be abandoned is because people are still driving at the speed to which they are accustomed. And they’re unaware, or don’t seem to care that when they speed along the roads they are causing the dust to stir up almost as if it was dropping afresh,” he disclosed.
It was against this background that Mr. Abrahams cautioned against unnecessary travel over the next few days. He said while “this was not a directive”, individuals needed to be considerate and avoid putting the lives of others at risk.
“Persons are trying to clear the roads to get us back to some level of safety and transport utility. We need to be aware of them and the dangers posed to them by traffic on the road, whether in terms of dust or in the case of reduced visibility in terms of accidents and personal damage,” Mr. Abrahams urged, noting that the Royal Barbados Police Force had issued a public safety bulletin on the ash fall, giving advice to all road users.
The Minister of Home Affairs also called on motorists, who may need to leave their residences, to drive carefully, reducing avoidable risks to themselves and others.