33% increase in road fatalities reported; Ramnarine calls on Drivers to use Common sense
The Guyana Police Force (GPF) Traffic Department is looking to curb the high number of accidents on the roadways and more so, fatal accidents, which Assistant Commissioner of Police David Ramnarine has deemed as “very unacceptable”.
The Assistant Commissioner at a Press Conference on Wednesday afternoon reported that a total of 89 fatal accidents were recorded for 2016, thus far. This is compared to 67 fatal accidents in 2015. There were 96 deaths recorded in 2016 in comparison to 81 deaths by accidents last year.
“Of this 96 deaths, pedestrians are high on the list. 29 pedestrians have lost their lives, 19 motorcyclists, 11 pedal cyclists, passengers or occupants- 9 and drivers- 14” the Assistant Commissioner outlined.
He further disclosed that of the accidents reported, 14 were caused by drunk driving where a total of 17 lives were lost including 3 children, while 50 were caused by speeding where a total of 56 lives were lost including 6 children.
It was found that the drivers involved in the accidents were between the ages of 18-33 years.
Additionally, the category of vehicles most involved in accidents was private, which accounts for 63 of the fatal accidents recorded. This, he said contradicts previous “human cries” that minibuses caused the most accidents.
Ramnarine acknowledged that there are many persons using their private cars as hire cars and in this regard, the Force has helped several persons to obtain a hire care license since they are eligible.
He is pleading with the public to be cautious on the roads, so as to avoid causing injuries to themselves and other persons, noting that there is a high degree of callousness on the roadways.
“It is never too late to speak to our fellow Guyanese, to call to their sense of self-preservation, to call to their sense of respect for not only each other but the very rules and regulations…It is clear to us that while the force is continuing to do so much, the driving population need to have their concerns awakened in this respect” Ramnarine said.
He added that “there is a decline in the application of the five Cs…It is becoming clear to me that, and I am not disrespecting anyone…common sense is becoming so rare that people wish they can buy it in a shop but sadly that is not so.”
However, the GPF will be relaunching Operation Safeway on Thursday (September 15, 2016) to restore road safety consciousness and minimise accidents.
The project will see increased traffic patrol exercises, spot checks and random breathalyser tests. There will also be an increase in night patrols. It will be rolled out in Divisions which reported the most accidents thus far.
Thus far for 2016, 43 drivers were charged, 22 cases are under investigation, while the police are awaiting legal advice on 15 cases.
In 2012, the police recorded 102 accidents with 110 deaths, in 2013- 103 accidents with 112 deaths, 2014- 135 accidents with 146 deaths and 2015- 106 accidents with 126 deaths.
Operation Safeway was first launched in 2009 to reduce the carnage on Guyana’s roadways. This saw thousands of cases brought against motorists for breaching traffic laws.