MOWT Responds to Installation of "Oil Barrels" along the Sir Solomon Hochoy Highway in the vicinity

Release date: 8/26/2022

The Ministry of Works and Transport notes with great concern the irresponsible actions of Mr. Phillip Alexander regarding the installation of “oil barrels” along the Sir Solomon Hochoy Highway in the vicinity of the Gandhi Village Roundabout.

While the Ministry is not averse to any initiative that seeks to improve road safety measures on the nation's roadway, such actions must operate within the parameters and guidelines of the Highways Authority.

In this particular instance, the Ministry of Works and Transport was forced to remove the oil barrels installed by Mr. Alexander as no approval was sought or given by the Highways Division. The barrels were improperly installed and do not support the overall safety plan for the area.

The existence of fixed procedures and checks and balances are critical as it ensures that an organisation adheres to proper engineering standards and processes, allowing for the most effective solution to be undertaken. The issue of road safety and the implementation of appropriate measures require a specific skill set. Such works should not be done by the whim and fancy of a person not specialised in the field. These actions can lead to more detrimental impacts on a situation the Ministry is currently addressing.

Given the increase in road traffic accidents within the vicinity of the Gandhi Village Roundabout, the Ministry has implemented additional traffic-control devices, including crash cushions (lit sand barrels), reflective tape, flashing cat eyes, flashing warning lights and improved signage and pavement markings with the intent of improving the overall safety of the area.

As the lead authority on matters pertaining to road safety in Trinidad and Tobago, the Ministry of Works and Transport will continue to implement other extensive changes and upgrades to the traffic management system, but the largest and most influential stakeholder will always be drivers. As such, the Ministry reminds all drivers to exercise due diligence and caution as they traverse the nation’s roads.