“Reckless drivers get off too easily” – mother of young accident victim
…as driver only gets 6 months in jail
By Devina Samaroo
Following an accident that has changed her daughter’s life forever, a mother is calling on the authorities to send a stronger message to reckless drivers.
While her little girl was fortunate enough to survive the crash, this parent believes the penalty against the guilty driver was too lenient.
Adalia George, 11, was struck down on November 19, 2019, as she was making her way across a busy road using the pedestrian crossing at Grove, East Bank Demerara (EBD).
After spending several days in a hospital bed, Adalia has been discharged, but her life has changed forever.
She is still experiencing excruciating pain, is unable to use her hands, and cannot walk properly.
The young girl suffered a fractured neck, broken shoulder, and bruises about her body.
Her mother, Allison Arthurs, is still uncertain about the future that now awaits her ambitious child.
Adalia is a pupil of the Soesdyke Primary School, where her mother has been teaching for over 10 years.
At the time of the accident, the young girl and her siblings had just disembarked a minibus and were waiting to cross the road by the pedestrian crossing.
According to Closed Circuit TV (CCTV) footage seen by Guyana Times, a vehicle finally stopped for them to cross. The vehicle appeared to have had on its hazard lights. However, as the group of people were halfway across the pedestrian crossing, a speeding motor car struck them down.
The little girl’s body was thrown some distance ahead. She was taken to the Diamond hospital and later transferred to the Georgetown Public Hospital.
The driver, according to the mother, has made no contribution to the child’s medical bills.
The matter was heard at the Providence Magistrate’s Court; the driver pleaded guilty and, as a consequence, was given six months in jail while the maximum penalty for the crime was 12 months.
Allison believes the penalty is too weak and it does not send a strong enough message to reckless road users.
“I am feeling the consequences of the accident right now and I am very, very annoyed about the fact that maximum penalty is 12 months. That needs to be reviewed because a lot of people are taking this thing as a joke,” the mother expressed during an interview with this publication.
“The Magistrate did the best he could; I admired how he tried and he did what he had to do… but for them (drivers), they don’t see the seriousness. They would cry and shed a lot of tears in court and what else can the Magistrate do?”
There has been a sudden increase in road fatalities. In fact, within a period of seven days, 12 persons lost their lives in road accidents.
Allison believes this is so because drivers are, for some reason, extremely reckless, and there is not a strong enough deterrent for them to operate otherwise.
“Somebody has to be used as an example to the others,” the mother contended.
“I am admonishing that road users, especially our drivers, to look out for the children, look out for the elderly persons, look out for everyone, and slow down, because one day, it may be your relative and your child. And what I’m going through, you may go through worse than that,” she said.