The Saint Lucia Bureau of Standards (SLBS) observed World Metrology Day on May 20, under theme “Measurements for Transport.”
The 2017 theme brought to the spotlight, a number of significant interventions made by the SLBS to ensure accurate and reliable measurements in the vital transportation sector.
One of those is the department’s flagship program for the verification of gas pumps to ensure that consumers get value for money when liquid petroleum is purchased from fuel dispensers throughout the island. Indeed, a survey by the SLBS of the accuracy of gas pumps in 1996 revealed that customers did not get value for money.
This was used as the justification to repeal the archaic 1911 Weights and Measures Ordinance with a modern Metrology Act in 2000. The SLBS’ program for verification of gas pumps is now recognized as one of the best in the CARICOM region, and a model for other Small Island Developing States.
Another initiative was the Bureau’s collaboration with the Metrication Board and Metrication Secretariat, that resulted in the official retail prices for fuel being gazetted as maximum retail prices per liter, instead of the traditional maximum retail prices per gallon.
The SLBS has also worked with the transportation division of the Ministry of Transport to ensure that speed limit road signs carry the speed limits in both kilometers per hour (km/h) and miles per hour (mph). This was in effort to alert motorists to the existing speed limits and to ensure that the speed limit signs matched the km/h symbols used on speedometers which display speeds in metric units only.
In another initiative, the SLBS assisted the Ministry of Transport with the technical evaluation of laser speed guns which will be used by the traffic department of the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force to enforce Saint Lucia’s speed limits.
While the SLBS has a rigorous and effective program for gas pump verification, it nevertheless urges motorists to be vigilant and alert when purchasing liquid fuels, and to report any concerns to the Saint Lucia Bureau of Standards, or the Consumer Affairs Department of the Ministry of Commerce.