To promote road safety, citizens must respect laws, Police – Benn


Home Affairs Minister, Robeson Benn on Friday said in order to meet the target of preventing road accidents by 50% by 2030, citizens must stop assaulting traffic officers who are executing their work.

Less than 100 accidents were recorded in 2020 and 2021 and Minister Benn said more must be done to clamp down on the situation.  He believes that respect for the law and enforcers of these laws must be at the forefront.

Benn was at the time delivering remarks at the Police Officers Training Centre, Camp Street, where the Guyana Police Force and the Guyana National Road Safety Council commenced interactive discussions focused on advancing road safety efforts here.

Minister Benn said that as a result of these discussions, the stakeholders have to identify the actions that are not promoting road safety.

Police Officers gathered at the Guyana Police Force’s Training Centre for the Road Safety Training (Photo: Ministry of Home Affairs)

“Quality of policing will not improve if we don’t have the cooperation and the respect from the public…we have to be stronger. We have to support each other more and develop synergies across the agencies, report more, react faster and be more assertive,” the Home Affairs Minister said.

Videos have surfaced with police officers being physically attacked by citizens who are accused of breaking the law and Benn said this must stop.

Minister of Home Affairs Robeson Benn (Photo: Ministry of Home Affairs)

He highlighted that the perpetrators are adults who do not want to follow the law. Already, the Road Safety Council is visiting schools to sensitise children about road laws. He said more conversations are needed on television, social media, in schools and generally in the media.

“We have to map out over the next month or so these initiatives and undertake stronger actions… Policemen were being assaulted by minibus drivers in respect of this very significant task.

“We have to put in place the body cameras for when we have the engagements with those persons. We have to deal with the repeat offenders who should not be permitted to drive if they lose points or if they are indeed repeat offenders,” Minister Benn said.

In June 2021, ranks started wearing cameras affixed to their uniforms as part of plans to increase accountability and improve public trust.

The use of cameras is among several measures the GPF has adopted to capture evidence at crime scenes as part of a wider plan to increase its professionalism. The initiative was first introduced in 2015 and has been expanded to all 12 police divisions.

Further, Minister Benn said repeat offenders must face the brunt of their actions and be immediately dealt with. Minister Benn urged passengers to speak out when the minibus drivers are speeding and when the “dutty” music is too loud.

He added that even when other passengers might side with the drivers, the citizens must be assertive and exit minibuses that are not compliant.

1 Comment
  1. derk says

    The Honourable Minister of Home Affairs Mr Benn is totally correct with his comments ,it is time that some decorum be restored on public and private transport facilities . Commuters have rights which must be respected at all times .I am not ignoring the importance of the service provided by mini buses operators ,I am just reminding them that they have a responsibly to provide a safe and healthy environment for their users and that service must not be compromised.
    The time has come for mini bus and other operators to understand that they are professionals and they are required to behave accordingly and don’t hold your customers at ransom.
    In the circumstances I am of the view that these operators apart from driving should have some continuous training in dealing with the public such as children, the elderly and persons with special needs.

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