Fay-Ann Lyons is never one to sweep an issue beneath the carpet. Today, we caught up with the Soca mom who sadly addressed the youth fatalities that struck her homeland of Trinidad and Tobago like a nightmare this past weekend. Eighteen year-old twin girls, Khadijah and Khertima Taylor were involved in a fatal accident, along with 19-year-old Kafiya Gill on Saturday morning at the Cross Crossing Exchange in the southern city of San Fernando. Lyons-Alvarez who is the mom of a four-year-old said her heart truly aches for the families of those killed but went on to say, “not only those families, but every family that has been affected by such a situation.”
With a strong level of assertiveness, Lyons-Alvarez said it is always sad to lose a child, from the perspective of a parent. She noted that drunk driving doesn’t only lead to the possible death of the person who may be driving under the influence, but certainly the many others who may come into contact with that drunk driver. She was quick to highlight however that “intoxication” could also come as a result of sleep deprivation and the use of certain medication. “Certain types of medication could render a person incapable of operating a vehicle for hours but of course the most prevalent thing when it comes to intoxication is alcohol consumption,” she rationalized.
Lyons-Alvarez who does not consume alcohol said tougher legislation is really needed in Trinidad and Tobago. She also highlighted the need for better checks and balances when it comes to underage alcohol consumption. “One of the bigger issues to be looked at is not just driving drunk but also being underage and drinking and then getting behind a wheel,” she said.
Pointing out that in certain US states bar owners and managers limit their customers’ alcohol intake, often offering to send them to their destinations via taxi instead of having them get behind the wheel, Fay-Ann said she could only hope that business owners here in Trinidad and Tobago, could be so mindful. “It takes a different type of businessman to take the safety and well being of their customers over the cash,” she said, adding that such an act is dependent solely on that business owner’s human nature. She noted that the ironic thing is that, that very customer that’s allowed to leave the bar or club driving under the influence, could very well be the same person that could hurt the bar owner or someone they know in a vehicular accident.
On the country’s Prime Minister’s indication that the state would pay for the funerals of the twin girls, Fay-Ann said she immediately questioned this and remains a bit puzzled on the issue. “I immediately questioned why the twin girls alone- why not the other victim?,” she said, before adding, “but then again, that’s really not the big issue and we have to be careful not to deviate from the real issue at hand. The issue is, how do we truly address the drunken driving…”