Over the past weeks, several persons have died on Guyana’s roadways. This is reminiscent of the unprecedented number of fatal road accidents that had occurred within a fairly short period of time late last year.
The sudden and shocking death of someone close, especially due to an accident, can never be easily accepted. The ensuing excruciating pain and mental trauma that are inflicted on surviving relatives can be unbearable.
In a fleeting moment, families were plunged into sadness and despair, having received the dreadful news that an accident had taken the life of someone dear to them. That’s the painful result, and often, its real and lingering impact may be hidden from the spotlight of the media.
The reality is that people, including those who survive an accident, suffer in unimaginable ways. The recent spate of accidents even prompted some to ask the question: How many more? One interpretation from that simple question speaks to whether lessons are being learnt from accidents over time. In other words, how many more have to die before better care is being taken while using the roadways?
Given what has taken place on our roadways, one could not be faulted for concluding that the ramifications of the accidents may not have inspired more responsible behaviours. However, judging from sentiments expressed on social media, it appears that more cognisance has seemingly being brought to the mindsets of many.
Judging from what continues to take place on the roadways, it seems clear that many drivers have not learnt anything, or are clearly refusing to even be bothered by the harrowing fatal accidents.
On a daily basis, many drivers use the roadways in a very reckless manner, thereby endangering occupants, other road users, and even themselves. It becomes painful to see how they manoeuvre, seemingly without an iota of care for others. Again, it brings into question the role of law enforcement to try and curb such irresponsible behaviours, especially since some traffic violations do occur in the presence of Police.
Many of those violations involve a minibus. It begs another question: If members of the public can take the time and effort to highlight daily traffic violations on which the Police sometimes intervene, why can’t the Police themselves use the CCTV cameras in a sustained effort to make defaulters face the law? Millions of taxpayers’ dollars were used to procure and mount those cameras; therefore, their value must be to benefit the public.
The recently-launched Police WhatsApp account, intended to receive pictures and videos of traffic violations captured by members of the public, is most welcome.
In recent times, persons have shared videos and photos on social media, highlighting various traffic offences that they would have witnessed. In many cases, these videos went viral.
However, importantly, the Police must holistically demonstrate that sense of commitment to genuinely collaborate with members of the public to collectively tackle the situation.
This becomes even more necessary given that, generally, the Police’s image in clamping down on errant drivers is not very flattering, especially since many policemen are believed to own minibuses and taxis. The pain people feel is real and crushing. The question of “how many more” is therefore relevant, and the cries for mitigating actions must no longer seemingly fall on deaf ears.