– 1359 persons killed in accidents over the past 10 years
The traffic department of the Guyana Police Force has recorded 34 road fatalities for the year so far when
compared to 30 fatalities from 21 accidents in 2015. Out of the 34 fatalities, three were children.
According to acting traffic officer Boodnarine Persaud, speeding and use of alcohol continued to be the main cause of accidents while other causes include inattentiveness by pedestrians and pedal cyclists, lack of care at intersections, among other factors.
Pedestrians and motorcyclists represented the largest categories of those killed during 2016, 10 and 8 respectively.
“Motorcyclists continue to use the road recklessly without thinking about their own safety or that of other road users,” Persaud stated.
Most of the accidents involving motorcyclists, he added, have resulted from speeding and the use of alcohol but in some cases, the riders and pillions were not fitted with safety helmets.
“The two recent accidents involving motorcyclists, have seen a 19-year-old speeding along Grove Public Road, without a helmet, lost control of his vehicle, fell down and skidded into a parked motorcar thus resulted in his death, and on the Essequibo Coast a 21-one-year-old motorcyclist was speeding along Aurora Public Road, lost control and drove off the road, killing his 17-year-old pillion. The motorcycle was not registered and the cyclist was unlicensed.”
On the other hand, the traffic chief stated that pedal cyclists also continue to use the road in a careless manner, while making reference to the use of alcohol topped with riding without lights, brakes, reflectors, and bells.
The Traffic Department over the years has conducted enforcement exercises against unlighted cycles resulting in several being seized since the perpetrators find it difficult to pay the fines imposed on them.
However, this exercise will now be considered a priority and zero tolerance approach commenced on Monday evening with the intention of correcting the situation.
In an effort to ease accidents, the Guyana Police Force Traffic Department has embarked on a series of road safety awareness programmes which include drivers’ seminars, lecture to school children, distribution of flyers, exhibitions and radio and television programmes.
The enforcement exercises against lawless drivers continued with 7375 drivers prosecuted for speeding while 625 were prosecuted for driving under the influence of alcohol.
At a recent workshop hosted by the Consultant of the West Demerara Road Project, it was suggested that road safety should be included in the school curriculum.
“If this should come on board it will be one of the best thing to happen as it relates to traffic because those same children will grow up to become adults and drivers of tomorrow and will have a fair idea as to the safe usage of the road and will also understand the consequences in using the road carelessly. The Guyana Police Force Traffic Department will definitely support this idea and do their part in educating the public,” Persaud noted.
For the past 10 years, from January 1, 2006 there were 1159 fatal accidents on the roads of Guyana from which 1359 persons were killed.
Pedestrians, motorcyclists and pedal cyclists were the largest categories killed, 451, 216 and 191 respectively. Taking into consideration the statistics for the past ten years, the traffic officer is calling on all Guyanese to join in the fight against road lawlessness; and practice road safety.