Traffic lights in Cabarete

Traffic lights at intersection Callejon de Loma and the main road in CabareteThe very first traffic lights have been installed in Cabarete at the intersection between Callejon de la Loma, the main road and Ocean Dream. The intersection has been the scene of countless accidents in the past including many that were deadly. The traffic lights have been put to work starting Saturday night and traffic police (AMET) officers have been present most of the time to ensure that people respect the lights.

 

AMET presence
AMET officers will be permanently present at the light to make sure that the signal is respectedAMET Officer Almonte confirmed that they will have a permanent presence at the lights from now on. However, as the team of two officers is now also responsible for making sure that cars park only on the beach side of the road in the center of town to ensure a free flow of traffic, they have already had to leave their post several times to fine cars that were parked on the wrong side.

“So far people have been quite good at respecting the traffic lights, although some seem to think that orange gives them the right to accelerate to pass the light”, highlights Officer Almonte. “For now we stop people who didn’t observe the lights and tell them what they wrong.” People will be given a week to get used to the traffic lights, after which any infractions will be punished with a fine. “People usually learn fast once it starts affecting their pockets.”


Getting used to the new lightsAccident rates
Once people get used to the new traffic lights, they will most likely help reduce the accident rate at that busy intersection. Luis, who had been sitting all morning in the shade close to the intersection, only had good words for the new traffic lights. He observed that the traffic was much calmer and that people could actually cross the road without having to run. Also Officer Almonte proudly confirmed that so far no accidents have happened at the traffic lights.


Making it happen
The traffic lights have been in the pipeline since 2014 when local businessmen and Cabarete mayor Raquel Sierra met to talk about funds for such a project. Works to install the lights started on 29 July 2015, and were finished on 8 August at night time.

New traffic lights at intersection with Callejon de La Loma and the main street