Carnival Safety Tips - Take Meh Chupid Advice!
  Linda Davis
FEATURES
February 2015

Carnival in Trinidad and Tobago is one of the most epic events on the nation's Calendar, if not the most epic. However, a major issue which attracts the concern of virtually all Carnival participants is that of safety/security. Despite the additional police, army and other public security personnel present on our streets on Carnival Monday and Tuesday, as well as other days within this season, the task of maintaining safety for all is overwhelming; crimes committed during this time normally range from petty to grossly nefarious, causing serious injury or even death. In this regard, there remains the need for all participants, whatever their mode of involvement in this festival, to meticulously and personally take a number of precautions, to avoid being robbed of a safe and enjoyable Carnival and ensure that they retire from this year's season in one piece.

 

So take Paradise Pulse chupid advice on Carnival safety:-

 

When attending fetes and parties you should:

 

  1. Travel in groups to and from activities.

  2. Refrain from wearing excessive jewellery.

  3. Avoid accepting drinks from strangers or leaving drinks unattended.

  4. Pre-arrange transport and designate an alcohol free driver.

  5. Avoid carrying around or displaying large amounts of money.

 

Parents and Guardians should exercise the following cautionary measures:

 

  1. Prepare your children — when taking children to participate in or view Carnival celebrations, explain to them the size of the crowd anticipated and what they should do in the event that at some point, they become separated from you. For instance, you can instruct them to look for a Police Officer or any other public/authorised security personnel, and ask for assistance in locating you.

  2. Ensure that each child wears an identification tag bearing his/her name, as well as your name, address and contact number.

  3. Remind your children that they should not speak to strangers.

  4. Remind your children that they should not accept anything to eat or drink from strangers. 

  5. Refrain from leaving your child/ward in the charge of strangers.

  6. Avoid allowing your child/ward to use public conveniences with your accompanying him/her.

  7. Refrain from leaving your child/ward at home, unsupervised.

  8. Desist from taking your child/ward to fetes, calypso tents and other adult shows.

 

 

When driving to and from fetes and parties you should:

 

  1. Desist from drinking and driving. When partying in groups, please ensure that before each member of the group leaves home, there is at least one designated (sober) driver who will be responsible for ensuring that each person returns home safely.

  2. Park your vehicle in a secured car park.

  3. Avoid picking up hitch hikers.

  4. Keep all doors locked and windows up, if driving through a crowded area.

  5. Avoid leaving valuables exposed in your vehicle.

  6. Refrain from overloading vehicles.

  7. Refrain from committing regulatory offences by heeding all traffic signs.

  8. Have your keys in your hand when approaching your vehicle.

  9. Avoid leaving your vehicle unattended with keys in the ignition.

  10. Notify the police whenever you observe any strange activities being conducted around vehicles.

 

When leaving your households you should:

 

  1. Avoid leaving keys in mailboxes or under door mats. 

  2. Ensure that you secure your premises.

  3. Emphasise to children who remain at home, the importance of locking all relevant doors when they enter. 

  4. Be observant when returning home, especially at night. 

  5. Ensure that the property is well lit at night.

 

Holders of licensed firearms should:

 

  1. Secure their firearms, preferably at home.

  2. Refrain from displaying their firearm in public.

  3. Be mindful that their firearms are lethal weapons and therefore, they should not become intoxicated when carrying same.

  4. Avoid drawing their firearm except in life threatening situations.

  5. Lodge their firearms at a police station if travelling abroad.

 

Visitors to Trinidad and Tobago are advised to do the following :

 

  1. Carry some form of identification when attending activities.

  2. Avoid carrying around or displaying large amounts of cash.

  3. Travel in hired and not private-hired taxis (one can identify a hired taxi by looking for a licence plate beginning with 'H').

  4. Verify the cost of transportation before boarding hired vehicles.

  5. Refrain from accepting lifts from strangers.

  6. Secure wallets and purses, especially in crowded areas.

 

Especially for women when attending fetes, parties and other activities:

 

In addition to the guidelines given above -

 

  1. Stay in groups.

  2. Do not leave the venue with strangers.

  3. Ensure that there is sufficient credit on your mobile phone. 

  4. Avoid boarding strange vehicles.

  5. Do not drink extensively unless you have appointed a designated driver

  6. Ensure that you carry sufficient funds to return home, in the event that you are unable to do so via your designated driver (vex money :-P).

  7. Be constantly aware of the people around you.

  8. Do not walk alone in dark areas.

  9. Tell a responsible person where you are going and with whom.

 

IMPORTANT! THE NEW TRAFFIC FINES!

 

The Trinidad and Tobago Police Service has advised that, effective 30th January 2015, the fines related to drunk driving, speeding and driving without a permit, have been increased with the amendments to the Motor Vehicle Road Traffic Act. Chapter 48:50 (MVRTA). A person will be liable under the Act once their breath alcohol level is in excess of 35 micrograms. The following are some of the increased penalties under the  MVRTA:

 

 

  1. Persons Driving without a valid Driver’s Permit can pay an increased fine of $1500 from the previous band of $500 - $1000.

  2. For exceeding the speed limit, the fine has been increased from $4,000 to $6,000.

  3. Driving under the influence of liquor, the fine has moved from $8,000 to $12,000 for a first conviction. In cases of repeat offenders, the fine can range from $15,000 to $22,500.

  4. Failure to provide breath specimen: the fine has been increased from $8,000 to $12,000 for first conviction. 

  5. Failure to provide breath specimen or attempts to alter specimen for analysis: fine increased from $8,000 to $12,000 for first conviction and from $15,000 to $22,500 for second conviction.

  6. Refusal to provide blood sample for analysis: fine increased from $8,000 to $12,000 for first conviction, and from $15,000 to $22,500 for second conviction.

By: Linda Davis | FEATURES | February 2015


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