The Government of Grenada has made good on a promise to introduce traffic wardens as part of innovative efforts to bolster the work of the Traffic Department of the Royal Grenada Police Force. The move comes against the background of a significant increase in the number of vehicles on the nation’s roads, a growing number of traffic offences committed by motorists and an ongoing need to safeguard pedestrians.
Addressing the 60 persons who are being trained as the first group of traffic wardens, Minister of Transport, Gregory Bowen said this is the first component of the solution to fix the traffic situation.
“Traffic wardens will play a very important role in addressing the traffic situation here in Grenada. It is not an easy job, but you must do it diligently and fairly. The way you execute your duties will either ensure that the traffic situation improves, or motorists feeling disgruntled,” he said.
Minister Bowen urged the traffic wardens to maintain a harmonious relationship with motorists and pedestrians alike and he encouraged them to pay particular attention to the customer service training which forms part of their course.
Acting Commissioner of Police, Mr. Edvin Martin cited traffic management as a great challenge for law enforcement daily and expressed optimism that the traffic wardens will improve the efficiency of the Traffic Department.
According to Mr. Martin, “The sheer increase in the volume of traffic, when combined with individual driver and pedestrian negligence as well as noncompliance with our Traffic Regulations are major drivers to the increase in accidents. The Traffic Warden System is considered to be a critical element among a number of other strategies to be implemented to effectively address the current and future challenges related to traffic management.”
It is anticipated that the introduction of traffic wardens will bring about an immediate ease in traffic congestion, illegal parking and obstruction.
Commending the Government for bringing the initiative to fruition, Acting Commissioner Martin said it “demonstrates an astute appreciation by Government, for the relevance of a well-supported and resourced police force in modern democratic society.”
Mr. Martin also had some salient words of advice for the traffic wardens, encouraging them to be impartial and respectful in the execution of their duties. “I admonish you to never ever compromise your integrity, for if you lose it, it will be very difficult if not impossible to restore. Do not use your newly found authority to be vindictive or abusive, but rather use it to improve the lives of others, and to help people in ways that make it easy for them to get through the day. When action has to be taken, be firm and decisive but do so with respect for individuals, the law and due process,” he told the trainees.
The 60 young men and women will undergo three weeks of training during which they will be exposed to topics such as ethics and ethical behaviour, pocket book entries, report writing, fixed penalty system, First Aid and customer service. They will also practice giving evidence in court and visit some of the main traffic points across Grenada.
They will be tested throughout the training to ensure that they can readily apply the information provided to the execution of daily duties. Only those who successfully complete the programme, will become traffic wardens.
Upon completion, the traffic wardens will be deployed in all parishes and the two sister islands. They will have the authority to issue tickets to motorists and clamp vehicles found to be in violation of Traffic Regulations. Additionally, they will be authorised to issue tickets to persons committing litter offenses.
Trainees exhibit uniforms to be worn by traffic wardens at the Official Launch of the Traffic Warden Programme on January 28, 2019.