Legislation to be tweaked for diplomats, senior gov’t officials to use sirens, flashing lights

Minister of Home Affairs, Robeson Benn has announced that the legislation pertaining to the use of sirens and flashing lights will be tweaked to cater for appropriate users including senior government officials and members of the diplomatic corps.

Minister Benn was at the time responding to questions raised by an opposition Member of Parliament in the Committee of Supply, Thursday morning.

Minister of Home Affairs, Robeson Benn during the final day of the Consideration of 2023 Budget Estimates

The current law allows for emergency vehicles only, which comprise police, fire service vehicles and ambulances, to carry sirens and flashing lights. Any other vehicle that is fitted with such appliances is in breach of the law. However, due to increased traffic in the city, Minister Benn informed the committee there are some instances where diplomats and senior government officials are allowed to use these appliances.

“All members of the diplomatic corps … are required to have the light, both on the vehicle of the Ambassador or the High Commissioner and perhaps on an escort vehicle … We have to tweak the legislation to take account of the changed situation, we have more traffic on the road and people can’t get to where they want in time, or when there’s a situation but we have to deal with that issue,” Minister Benn highlighted.

He however, expressed worry that several persons are misusing these appliances across the country.  

It has become unfortunate that through some stores in the city and other places …that police type lights are available for sale and people put them up and misuse them,” he added.