Home Letters Sad state of how drivers use the roadways in Guyana
Driving in Guyana stinks to the high heavens, and I begin by making that sweeping statement about the conduct of some of our drivers on the roads. There is no question in my mind, and I am sure it is the view of countless others, that this is exactly so.
You cannot tell me that a driver who flippantly disregards a pedestrian crossing or a zebra crossing and strikes a pedestrian down can still be driving, yet this is the sad state of affairs in a place called Guyana. In my scheme of things, that would be his last day on the road.
As someone rightly said, in Guyana, when you hear the sound of a vehicle – pedestrian on crossing or not – you better get out of the way! Only in Guyana can someone be killed in cold blood and nothing is done about it. It is called vehicular homicide, and this is the sad state of our roads in Guyana; they have become veritable death traps.
In the point raised above, driving instructors instruct the student-driver that when you see a person at a pedestrian crossing, you stop and allow that person to cross. However, in the context of what is going on in Guyana, if you see a pedestrian at a crossing, it is time to rev up your engine and warn the pedestrian to get out of the way, or else!
Now, this brings into focus some very important factors; namely, (a) Some of the drivers on our roads are not certified road users, meaning: some of our drivers are not qualified to be behind the wheel of a motor vehicle. Or if they are registered as certified, certification was not legally obtained. And this has been a bugbear in our society for some time now: persons who are not qualified to use our roads. This matter has to be addressed as a matter of urgency.
(b) Secondly, there should be penalties or consequences that must be administered to those who misuse our driving codes. In many instances, it is not just a fine, but the total revocation of their licences to drive. Period! End of discussion! The users of our roads, both drivers and pedestrians, ought to feel safe when using our roads.
(c) The Police need to do their work. Now, on this point, I will touch on the general sentiment held by most of us, that the Police take bribes, and are not doing their jobs properly. While I am in agreement with such sentiments, you must also be cognisant of the fact that when those same persons have broken the law, they “praise” the law officers for letting them off the hook. So, my question is: Who or what should be the Police’s role in all of this? And it comes back to my point: the Police need to carry out their function without fear or favour, irrespective of who the persons are. That is the only way we would bring back sanity to our roads.
Government is presently upgrading our roads, as well as building newer, wider, and bigger highways. If the present lawlessness continues, then these new thoroughfares would become killing fields of the future. This cannot be allowed. We cannot continue like this!
So, I call on the Ministry so designated to carefully look into this topic of nation-building. I say nation-building because, as our country develops, investors and locals alike must feel safe when traversing our roadways. Accidents and other road infarctions are deterrents to nation-building. Let us stop the madness now!