Police have found and questioned a woman seen smoking a cigarette at a gas station in a video posted to social media last month.
This was the word from Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) Road Safety Coordinator Sergeant Brent Baston, who said a collaborative effort between various agencies had allowed them to quickly identify both people in the video.
“Due to the technology that was deployed with the U-turn system, the TTPS, together with Licensing, were able to quickly identify both the driver of the vehicle, as well as the person that committed the offence,” he said.
Batson was speaking at a ceremony to hand out Priority Bus Route passes to maxi taxi drivers at the Ministry of Works and Transport on Thursday.
According to the Ministry of Works and Transport’s website, the UTurn software provides real-time connectivity among the Judiciary, T&T Police Service, Licensing Authority, TTPost and the new Traffic Management Centre.
Batson said the woman’s action was a clear offence of Regulation 39 of the Motor Vehicles and Road Traffic Act, which says, “Any person who fills petrol into any receptacle on or adjacent to any motor vehicle or into the tank of a motor vehicle while the engine is running, or while any light, other than an electric light, is a light on the vehicle, and any person who smokes or lights a match or exposes a naked light in close proximity while petrol is being so filled is guilty of an offence.”
“It was kind of shocking to see somebody actually engaging in such a dangerous act,” Batson said.
However, the coordinator said the investigation has gone in another direction and he could not comment further. However, he encouraged people to report or record such offences in future when they see it.
“Let us know so that we can do our part as well,” he said.
The video of the woman smoking at the service station sparked outrage by many on social media.
After the video surfaced, the Trinidad and Tobago National Petroleum reminded citizens that smoking is strictly prohibited at service stations as it poses a significant risk, as a lit cigarette or loose cigarette ash can ignite gasoline vapours in the air.
NP also said mobile phones are not designed or certified for use in potentially explosive atmospheres, which exist temporarily around the pump and nozzle during refuelling.