… “This is forbidden!” – Traffic Chief
By Ramona Luthi
Vehicle operators are incessantly told to hand over their documents to traffic ranks, and ordered to drive to the Police Station despite this being declared prohibited on several occasions by Traffic Chief Boodnarine Persaud.
According to numerous complaints from drivers on Saturday, after being stopped by Police Traffic ranks, they are ordered to turn over their drivers’ licences and insurances for inspection but on most occasions, these law enforcers would confiscate the documents and demand that they drive to the respective Police stations.
“Look, the other day I was driving up to town, a officer stop me, he ask foh me licence, I give he. Then he ask foh me insurance, I give he. Then he collect all two, put it in he pocket and tell me drive to Ruimveldt Station,” Johnson Charles told Guyana Times.
The actions of the traffic officers have triggered questions by vehicle operators about the traffic laws enforcement. “If they saying you can’t drive without your documents, why are they taking it away and telling you to drive? Not even tell, order you to drive to the station. What sense is the law to not drive without documents, then?” Jenny Ramcharran, another driver questioned.
A young lady told this publication that she was parked for no more than 15 seconds across the Mon Repos Market on Saturday, when an officer approached her, requested her documents and opted to seize them while stipulating that she drive to the Beterverwagting Police Station. However, when she requested to have her documents returned before she followed the order, the officer refused to comply.
The young lady said when she informed a senior officer of the situation and asked “is it right for the officer to take away my documents, his response was no, but would you rather an officer give you back your documents then hold you by your pants, arrest you and embarrass you in front of people?”
Meanwhile, Traffic Chief Persaud told this publication on Saturday that the custom by ranks taking away drivers’ documents is forbidden. He said the only time traffic ranks can do that is if there are suspicions that the documents are fraudulent.
According to Persaud, officers are expected to inspect and return the documents and if necessary arrest the driver and have them taken to the Police station, or accompany them as they drive to the station to be arrested.
“The Police supposed to check the documents, return the documents, and if they have to, arrest the driver and take him or her to the station or they can go along in the vehicle with the driver to the police station and arrest them. Officers are totally forbidden from taking away documents from drivers.”