100% increase in fatal accidents so far; gov’t concerned about recklessness on roadways


A 100 per cent increase in the number of fatal accidents has been recorded by the Ministry of Home Affairs between the periods of January 1, 2023 to February 18, 2023, when compared to the same period in 2022.

The Ministry of Home Affairs on Tuesday released data which revealed that 16 persons involved in 14 accidents during the stated period died when compared with eight deaths reported from seven accidents in 2022.

“The 2023 results show a 100% increase when compared with 2022,” the press release noted.

Of this total, pedestrian fatalities take up 25 per cent when compared to the same period last year. It was noted that approximately 44 per cent are motorcyclists, who were involved in accidents and died during the same period compared to last year.

The ministry said that in 2022, five of the eight persons killed during that period were the most vulnerable classes of road users – two pedal cyclists, a motorcyclist and two pedestrians.

In 2023, the vulnerable classes accounted for 16 persons – two pedal cyclists, seven motorcyclists and four pedestrians.

Meanwhile, as it relates to serious accidents for this year, 41 were recorded as of February 18, 2023, when compared to 39 during the same period in 2022.

This is a five per cent increase in serious accidents this year thus far.

According to the security ministry, data also indicates that fatal accidents occur primarily on Sundays and Fridays between the hours of 18:00hrs and 05:59hrs, with male drivers accounting for 81 per cent of all deaths.

At the weekend, a total of four persons died in separate accidents across the country and many others were injured, prompting the authorities to express grave concern over the use of the country’s roadways.

The Home Affairs Ministry highlighted that the authorities were able to reduce road deaths by 30 per cent in 2021 and 2022, with less than 100 persons killed for the first time in 16 years.

“This achievement of the previous two years will be extremely difficult to maintain at the present rate of road fatalities,” the ministry noted.


The ministry highlighted that this increase in road fatalities “appears to be a daily occurrence, and the indications are that reckless driver behaviour, attributable to excessive speeds, driving under the influence of alcohol, driving without due care and attention (or inattentiveness), tailgating, and driving while tired is the common cause.”

It was noted that motorists are failing to observe the fundamental principle of safe driving, which is to maintain a safe braking distance and not exceed the required speed limits.

“The ministry notes that this situation necessitates stringent law enforcement. It is simply not acceptable that Guyanese continue to perish and be injured on the roadways,” the Home Affairs Ministry stated.

And so, in an effort to reduce the number of accidents, it was noted that a further review of more measures to promote road safety is currently being undertaken through a collaborative effort by the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Guyana Police Force, the Traffic Department, the Guyana Revenue Authority, and the Ministry of Education.

The Ministry is appealing to all Guyanese to exercise care and caution when using the road, noting “there is no justification for not wearing a helmet or a seatbelt.”

“An accident may occur at any time, but our safety and that of others should be prioritised over convenience, as the case may be. Not only is it the law to wear a helmet or a seatbelt at all times, but it only takes a few seconds to do so. We all have a role to play in the prevention of road accidents. It cannot be the responsibility of the Police Traffic Department alone,” the press release emphasised.

The authorities were also quick to point out that despite the encouragement given to motorists with the free distribution of safety helmets, a large number of motorists continue to ride without helmets, “and worse yet, persons are transporting women and children on motorcycles without helmets at high speeds. This practice must be stopped.”

Additionally, the ministry will be pursuing discussions with the relevant stakeholders regarding the requirements for the importation, registration and licensing of electric bikes.

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