24-hour road surveillance

Guyana’s Motor Vehicles and Road Traffic Act has once again been amended in a bid to curb traffic offences and making our roadways safer.
In recent years, Guyana has taken significant strides towards enhancing this piece of legislation, with the latest initiative being the implementation of 24-hour road surveillance cameras. This move marks a crucial advancement in ensuring public safety, enhancing law enforcement capabilities, reducing traffic offences and fostering a more secure environment for citizens and road users.
Road accidents and fatalities due to reckless driving have been a longstanding concern and the introduction of cameras equipped with advanced monitoring software is a proactive measure aimed at deterring and penalising offenders.
Home Affairs Minister Robeson Benn has said in the National Assembly that this amendment comes on the heels of scores of accidents on the nation’s roadways and it will be able to combat lawless activities of drivers.
He had also explained that the footage recorded will be stored in a specific database and also it will be accessible to members of the Police Force and various persons in the judicial system.
The primary goal of installing 24-hour road surveillance cameras is to deal with the lawlessness on our roadways with respect to traffic offences, but as a dual function, these cameras will now help to enhance public safety in terms of criminal activities. These cameras provide real-time monitoring of critical locations across the country, deterring criminal activities such as theft, vandalism, and traffic violations. By having a continuous visual record of road activities, law enforcement agencies can promptly respond to incidents, investigate crimes, and ensure swift justice.
Equipping law enforcement agencies with advanced surveillance technology empowers them to proactively manage traffic, monitor suspicious activities, and prevent potential crimes before they escalate. The footage captured by these cameras serves as valuable evidence in legal proceedings, aiding prosecutors in securing convictions and reinforcing the rule of law.
While the implementation of surveillance cameras raises legitimate concerns about privacy, the Government has ensured that these systems adhere to strict guidelines and regulations. Clear policies govern the collection, storage, and use of surveillance footage, emphasising the protection of citizens’ privacy rights while maintaining effective law enforcement capabilities.
Transparent communication about the purpose and deployment of surveillance cameras is essential in building trust between the Government and the public. Educating citizens about the benefits of this technology and how it contributes to their safety fosters a cooperative relationship and encourages community involvement in crime prevention efforts.
Looking ahead, the integration of advanced technologies such as facial recognition software holds promise for further enhancing the effectiveness of surveillance systems in Guyana. These innovations can streamline data analysis, improve response times, and ensure that law enforcement resources are deployed more efficiently.
The introduction of 24-hour road surveillance cameras backed by law represents a significant step forward in Guyana’s efforts to strengthen security and safeguard its citizens.
As with any technological implementation, there are challenges and adjustments to be made. Ensuring the system operates efficiently, addressing any technical glitches promptly, and maintaining public trust through clear communication are essential steps moving forward. The Government’s commitment to modernising legislation and prioritising road safety deserves recognition and support from all sectors of society.