Benn suggests ‘trauma kits’ for cops responding to accidents

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In an effort to reduce deaths caused by road accidents, Minister of Home Affairs Robeson Benn has suggested that police vehicles responding to these scenes should have trauma kits to aid the emergency response.

Minister Benn explained that several times in the past, persons who were injured in accidents died because they are not provided with immediate medical care.

Speaking at the launch of the 2021 National Road Safety Month on Sunday at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre, Benn observed that sometimes the response from the ambulance service is not done in a timely manner.

“By the time the EMTs [Emergency Medical Technicians] come or they (injured persons) get to the hospital by whichever means, you read DOA – death on arrival.

“Our country cannot afford the loss of lives of persons on the road. The age cohorts which relate to road death and accident are between 20 to 35 years and it represents young people who have the greatest potential to continue to contribute to the development of our country,” Minister Benn stated.

Minister of Home Affairs, Robeson Benn (Photo: DPI/October 31, 2021)

The traffic department is reporting a 31 per cent decrease in road fatalities for the year thus far. Minister Benn is urging road users to drive carefully so that the reduced road fatalities can be maintained.

“Given that we have a significant reduction, given that we are putting in more tools and training in respect of the use of the roads and having improved usage of the roads, improved roads overall, that we should try to maintain the absolute reduction which we have now,” the Security Minister emphasised.

He said there has to be a change in the behaviour and culture of public transportation operators, noting that the lawlessness cannot continue.

Benn believes that minibuses do not need conductors but he acknowledged that this would add to Guyana’s unemployment rate.

“We must have better behaviour, that our culture, in our environment, our city, our main market spaces are not defined by the fighting, the cussing and the waring propelled and inoculated by public transport operators,” Minister Benn said.

While it may seem like road users commit small infractions and misdemeanours on the roadways, Benn recommended that the police force issue wanted bulletins for “those multiple repeat offenders who we know are out there.” He is also calling for an increase in road fines.

Meanwhile, Traffic Chief Senior Superintendent Ramesh Ashram pledged all necessary resources to make the roads safe and reduce all categories of accidents.

He said the contributing factors to accidents include driving under the influence, road users not adhering to basic traffic rules, speeding, error of judgment, careless use of pedal cyclists and motorcyclists, pedestrians crossing the road recklessly and not wearing reflective clothing during the nights.

“The Traffic Department of the Guyana Police Force will collaborate with other stakeholders on a campaign to promote and educate all categories of road users on safe practice and use of our roads,” the Traffic Chief said.

With the Christmas season fast approaching, the Traffic Chief is urging everyone to practice road safety.

Last year for road safety month, the Home Affairs Ministry distributed free helmets to motorcyclists; the same will be done this year.

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