St Helena And Ascension Island Road Safety Campaign – ‘Could Have, Would Have And Should Have’

As part of our Police and Crime Plan priority ‘Make our roads safer’, the Royal St Helena Police will be conducting a road safety campaign in October and again in December 2023. The Could Have, Would Have and Should Have’ campaign will run across both St Helena and Ascension between Sunday, 1 October, and Tuesday, 31 October 2023, and again between Friday, 1 December, and Monday, 8 January 2024.

We will use our Road Safety Strategy to achieve:

  • Safe People
  • Safe Vehicles
  • Safe Speed
  • Safe Roads

The campaign is designed to assist in changing the mind-set of drivers. We want to reduce risky behaviours on the road, motivate positive changes in their conduct, and for them to be considerate and safe.

The main issues that we face are Road Traffic Collisions. Since April this year, on St Helena we have had 33 reported collisions and on Ascension five reported collisions. 

We’ve observed a trend of motorists failing to stop, failing to report road traffic collisions and also of motorists fleeing the scene of collisions. Any motorist identified and taken to court for failing to stop or failing to report their road traffic collision could be disqualified from having or obtaining a driver’s licence.

The most common causes of collisions are:

  • Drivers having consumed excess alcohol, which puts them over the prescribed limit of 50 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath;
  • Vehicles which are unsafe and not in a road worthy condition;
  • Drivers who exceed the maximum speed limit; and
  • Drivers who do not drive to the conditions of the road.

During our campaign, we will be conducting:

  1. Driver’s Licence checks – Drivers will be asked to produce their driver’s licence. If not available at the time of the stop, the driver will be required to produce the license within five days.
  2. Safety checks of vehicles – Vehicles will be stopped and checks will be carried out on their brakes, steering and exhausts. If any vehicle does not meet the required standard, the driver will be issued with a Vehicle Defect Rectification form. For a minor offence, the driver will be given seven days to rectify the fault. However, if the vehicle is unsafe, it will be placed off the road until it is inspected by a vehicle inspector or, in the worst case, the vehicle’s licence can be revoked. We will also check our database to ensure that your vehicle is properly covered by insurance.   
  3. Monitoring of vehicles being driven at a safe speed and to the condition of the roads – Vehicles will be stopped if they are being driven carelessly, without due consideration to other road users, recklessly or dangerously.
  4. Breath Testing Drivers – If a police officer has reasonable cause to suspect that someone is driving, attempting to drive or is in charge of a vehicle on a road with excess alcohol, or that they’ve been involved in a road traffic collision, then they will be breath tested.

All competent drivers should know the St Helena Highway Code and the rules of the highway. Drivers and vehicle owners should ensure they have a valid and current driver’s licence for the class of vehicle they are driving. Drivers must ensure their vehicle licence is valid and the vehicle is insured.

Police Inspector, Jonathan Thomas, said:

“Our slogan for this campaign is ‘Could Have, Would Have and Should Have’. In life, with hindsight, we could have, would have, should have made different choices – don’t make that mistake and have regrets.

“We encourage our community on both islands to assist and to report any of the above issues to us, especially when driving standards fall below what is expected of a careful and responsible driver. This includes when drivers are driving in an anti-social manner and definitely when someone is under the influence of alcohol and attempting to drive or actually driving a vehicle.

“We hope that this campaign will act as a reminder of safe driving standards and that it isn’t too late for drivers to learn or change their mind-set, to take less risk and be safe and considerate drivers. Keep safe.”

29 September 2023

St Helena Government Communications Hub

Telephone: 22470