Road users must change culture, behaviour & mentality or more lives will be lost – Nandlall
With fatal accidents being reported on a weekly basis, some claiming several lives in one blow, Attorney General Anil Nandlall, SC, is urging a change in culture, behaviour and mentality.
Nandlall said while the government can put laws in place to allow for a greater regulatory framework, it requires much more than that.
“The laws can only achieve results to a certain extent. It has to do with our culture. It has to do with our behaviour. It has to do with our mentality. It has to do a lot with education and public awareness,” an aggrieved Nandlall said Tuesday night.
His comments came hours after three persons died in a horrific accident on the West Coast of Demerara. One week earlier, a motorist died in another accident days apart from another fatal accident that took the life of an employee of Parliament, both on the East Bank of Demerara.
Before that, the country was gripped in a national conversation after two teenagers were killed during a police chase at Mahaica, East Coast Demerara.
The incidents are countless so much so that Nandlall believes if a proper comparative analysis is done of Guyana’s records, it will be found that the country has one of the highest traffic accidents rates per capita in the region, if not for the world.
“We have to do something about these unnecessary deaths on our roads. We have to do something in the way we drive…drivers, cyclists, bikers, pedestrians and other users of the road; I speak to the collective users of the road. We can’t continue to waste the lives of our people in this careless and negligent manner,” he added.
“We simply can’t continue with this wasteful carnage of human life. This right here is a human rights tragedy and this is one area that knows no discrimination. It takes place in every part of the country with equal frequency. It involves young and old. All of the ethnic groups are victims and perpetrators.”
“There is no single area that one can identify to say that there are less incidents here and more incidents in another part of the country or there are some other statistical differentiation; not at all. It permeates the entire road network of our country. So, this is something that we have to speak more about,” Nandlall further reasoned.
Nandlall admitted too that perhaps more needs to be done at the government level but said it cannot be the responsibility of the government alone.
He said it is the duty and responsibility of every single citizen because no one is safe.
Nandlall said he stopped driving in Guyana for over 12 years now and he doesn’t think that he ever wants to drive again.