With new guidelines, gov’t to crack down on errant truck drivers- Edghill 


Minister of Public Work, Juan Edghill laid out several guidelines to manage the movement of trucks on the nation’s roadways.

These guidelines were revealed on Saturday when the minister met with the truck drivers and members of the Guyana Police Force Traffic Department.

Among the changes going forward, the minister said, is that persons will not be allowed to operate a motorised vehicle for excessive hours. He told both owners and drivers that they needed to ensure a mechanism was in place for drivers to get adequate rest in between long periods on the road.

“A tired driver on a dimly lit road is a danger to everyone. I’m saying this upfront, part of the rule of engagement going forward, people who are operating public transportation, buses, taxis, trucks cannot be working around the clock, you have to rest.”

The minister added that violations will not be tolerated.

He further noted that all loom, sand pit, and quarry owners will be engaged through the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) who license these operators, with regards to the weight of trucks leaving their mines.

Dozens of drivers were at the National Stadium, Providence, for the engagement with Public Works Minister Juan Edghill (Photo: DPI/ April 6, 2024)

“The weight of a truck load of sand and a load of stone is not the same, it’s not about the volume filling the tray. All the quarry and pit owners who have the front-end loaders loading these trucks, if you load the man, not only will the man with the overweight be held culpable, but the quarry that he is coming from will be held culpable. We holding both people culpable, just as we do with bar owners, we got to get this thing right,” Minister Edghill stated.

The Minister then had his engineer explained to the drivers the weight calculation, which is one axel on the truck is allowed to carry 8 tons. “The calculation of the weight you should carry is based on your axel, and if the owners and operators are having any difficulty understanding how much they should carry, we are prepared to sit with you,” the minister said.

Minister Edghill also announced that the cabinet has approved the purchase of scales which will be used on the roads.

“We are in the process of procuring those scales, mobile scales, and where you get catch you are staying, you will not be allowed to proceed further damaging our roads.”

Among the other areas the police will be clamping down on are: uncovered trucks responsible for sand and stone spillage on the roadways, trucks transporting mud and slush dirtying the roadway and endangering other road users, drivers parking or driving on the road shoulders and causing damages.

Before he made his initial presentation, Minister Edghill made a special appeal to truck drivers to look out for female drivers on the road.

“More of our women are buying their own vehicles, nurses have to get to work, doctors, teachers are buying their vehicles, your wife buying vehicles, as a matter of fact the inflows of vehicles in Guyana is at an all-time high right now, but truckers, drivers, operators look out for our women, don’t make them nervous. Let me just say, the women of Guyana have every right to be on the road just like you.”

The minister urges every female who has been at the tail end or witness such reckless driving involving trucks, to make note of the number plate, or get a photo if possible and report this to his office.

Meanwhile, though many of the truck drivers raised individual concerns, they also welcomed the opportunity to speak to their own colleagues about the manner in which some used the roads. Many were quick to point out reckless behaviour exhibited by some drivers, as well as challenges they were facing at sand pits and with specific contractors.

Members of the Guyana Police Force, Deputy Commissioner in Charge of Operations, Ravindradat Budhram, and Traffic Chief, Senior Superintendent Mahendra Singh, who also addressed the truckers, urged them to adhere to the law, to demonstrate a higher level of alertness when using roadways, and to use the road with care and caution.

The team from the ministry included Senior Engineers, Kester Hinds, Manager-Traffic/Safety/Maintenance Department, Mark Greene, Project Manager Donor Programs, Work Services Group, and Colin Gittens, Head of the Ministry’s Special Projects Unit. (DPI) 

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