Road users will soon see new additions and changes in traffic regulations now that the Seychelles' cabinet of ministers has approved a new road safety policy.
Launched this week as part of the road safety activities, the document will replace the 1983 policy and will reflect current developments.
Presented to the cabinet by the road transport department, the policy will address issues such as the introduction of speed laser or radar cameras, introduction of clamping and towing and the issuing of licenses. It is expected to come into force in March next year.
"As we have signed a declaration with the United Nation's Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020, there are basic policies that need to be in place to ensure that we meet certain international standards when it comes to road safety," said Patrick Andre, the Principal Secretary of the Department of Land Transport.
Andre told SNA on Wednesday that the police will now be acquiring speed cameras that will help them detect speeding.
"Officers might not necessarily have to stop you if they catch you speeding. A day or two following the incident, you will receive a letter related to the offence," said Andre.
To deter drivers from speeding in certain areas where they will know there are no cameras, the police will use portable ones they can move from site to site.
On the clamping and towing of vehicles, the principal secretary said that this measure is needed as some drivers park negligently on the road which can create hazards to other road users.
"Once a vehicle is clamped, a tow truck will remove the vehicle from the road to a yard. To remove the clamp, you will have to pay a fine," said Andre.
For towed vehicles, owners will have to pay the fine, the cost of towing and using the yard which is calculated per day. If the vehicle remains in the yard for more than six months, the authorities will send a final reminder that the vehicle will be auctioned if not collected. Any dues will be deducted from the sale and remaining balance sent to the concerned person.
Andre also said that under the new policy, they want to revise the way drivers are tested when learning how to operate a vehicle or looking for another category of license. He touched on the possibility of introducing driving schools.
"There are certain people who are interested in forming their own driving school, which we are encouraging. However, the responsibility to test drivers will remain under the relevant authority," said Andre.
Road designs, parking of vehicles, modifications and the safety of children onboard vehicles are among other issues to be addressed under the new road safety policy.
Andre said that since education is a key aspect when it comes to using the road safely they have to go back to schools to teach the youth about road safety.
"During the road safety week, we train Personal and Social Education teachers to touch on road safety with students. We are currently discussing with the Ministry of Education on how this can be better integrated into the curriculum," said Andre.
By making such move, the youth will grow up knowing how they should behave when using the road, added Andre. Other forms of advertisements will be run on different medium to educate the general public.
He called upon drivers and pedestrians to learn to coexist, to have courtesy and to use the road responsibly and that doing so will reduce possible risks and accidents.