“Ah went Paranging by my neighbour… aye Ms Gloria!” says Scrunter in his famous Soca Parang tune. “We moving from house to house, Christmas time”… “Neighbour, neighbour, this year ah passing by everybody”… “Neighbour oh ya oye, bring out the ham”… and… “We Parang the wrong house” are other popular songs about Paranging for the Christmas season. The lyrics are usually requests for neighbours to provide ham, black cake, pastelle, and plenty alcohol for them when they visit. From Christmas Day right up to the New Year, families, friends, neighbours, and invited guests will be visiting each other’s homes to eat and drink excessively, and be merry with liming, laughter, loud music, and singing while beating a bottle and spoon together. Unfortunately, there is a lot of drunk driving on the roads after this festive celebration causing accidents and fatalities. Here are some tips by Nadia Ali to keep you safe on the road after Paranging:
Safety tips for before, during and after Paranging
NEVER drink and drive: It’s the law. You’ve heard the safety awareness campaign from Arrive Alive Trinidad and Tobago and you must know that as of January 2016 there are new increased fines for driving under the influence of alcohol. No excuses!
Seatbelts: Make sure everyone in the car buckles his or her seatbelt. Not only will it keep you safe, but it’s also the law.
Secure children: The laws of Trinidad and Tobago make it mandatory for drivers to properly secure infants and children, once they are travelling in a motor vehicle. According to the Motor Vehicles and Road Traffic Act, Chap 48:50, section 43 D (1) (b), a person failing to place a child who is five years and under in a child restraint or booster seat in the vehicle while driving the vehicle, can be faced with a fixed penalty. Why say all that? Because I still see children standing in cars or in the front seat.
Quick check: If your gas tank is almost empty – go and fill it up at your nearest gas station. How are the car’s tyres? Ensure they are road worthy and fully inflated.
Don’t speed: Driving fast increases the likelihood of your being in or causing an accident, not to mention being charged for speeding.
Don’t follow closely: Keep a safe distance between your car and the car ahead – that goes for maxi taxis too!
Watch out for other drivers: You know the type of driver I mean, over taking on the shoulder, weaving in and out of traffic, be wary of other drivers.
Heavy rain: In T&T, the only bad weather we experience is exceptionally heavy rain. Stay in the middle lane as rain runs off to the sides of the road, keep a good distance between you and the car in front, and don’t drive behind a truck, maxi taxi or bus.
Avoid distractions: Yes, your cell phone, changing the radio station or CD, watching DVDs on your dashboard screen and interacting with passengers can divert a driver’s attention.
So, if you are driving on the Claude Noel Highway, Churchill-Roosevelt Highway, Uriah Butler Highway or the Solomon Hochoy Highway to visit the homes of friends and families, be safe and drive carefully. Above all, don’t get angry on the roads of sweet T&T.
December 2015 – Issue 19 www.sweettntmagazine.com
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