Sunday 25 August, 2019

Unruly drivers race across Flat Bridge amid non-working traffic light

Screenshot of a video showing two vehicles attempting to cross the Flat Bridge at the same time.

Screenshot of a video showing two vehicles attempting to cross the Flat Bridge at the same time.

Motorists who traverse the Bog Walk Gorge in St Catherine on a daily basis are expressing concern at the fact that the traffic lights at the Flat Bridge have not been working for about a month.

This, according to both commuters and fruit vendors who ply their trade in the vicinity of the bridge, has led to at least two accidents and several near misses over the past three weeks as drivers approaching the bridge from opposite ends race each other to be first across the potentially dangerous structure.

A Loop News team observed the non-functioning lights on Friday and drivers accelerating as they tried to be first across the bridge.

“I personally saw two accidents and traffic pile-up because nobody seems willing to wait,” said an employee of Musson’s Bog Walk plant who uses the route daily to get to work.

“There was a time when two vehicles met in the middle of the bridge just after I drove over it. I don’t know if they actually collided but it was a good thing I had cleared it as they caused a traffic jam. I just missed being late for work that morning,” the engineer said.

“The authorities need to do something about it,” he added.

Prior to traffic lights being installed at the entrances on either side of the bridge, which is only able to accommodate one vehicle at a time, it was a free-for-all as drivers were reluctant to wait. This reluctance seemed borne out of the fact that once a line of vehicles enters the bridge, all vehicles on the other side have to wait until they clear the structure before they can enter.

According to one fruit vendor who spoke with our news centre, drivers of public passenger vehicles which ply the Linstead to Spanish Town and Bog Walk to Spanish Town routes, are the most unruly as they race to beat approaching traffic across the bridge.

They are calling on the authorities to repair the traffic signals before a vehicle plunges into the river.

Manager for communication and customer services at the National Works Agency (NWA), Stephen Shaw, did not respond to Loop News' request for comment on the development, including when the traffic lights will be fixed, up to publication time.

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