Traffic police should be ensuring the smooth flow of traffic during rush-hours not checking documents
The police and the Ministry of Home Affairs should urgently clarify the role of police traffic officers as it relates to ensuring the smooth flow of traffic and the prevention of chaos on our roads.
Traffic cops are usually out in their numbers during rush hour periods in the mornings and evenings, but instead of ensuring the smooth flow of traffic, I believe some of them see these periods as an opportunity to make money. How can pulling private citizens over for routine checks and asking for documents help in alleviating traffic congestion and the chaos experienced on the roads at these critical times? It seems as though the routine checks for documents is an obsession of the Guyana Police Force (GPF). Anyone who has travelled to more developed countries, as well as other lesser developed countries such as Guyana, will quickly realize that this a phenomenon reserved for third world countries.
Checking for documents during rush hour traffic only causes further congestion and fuels the frustration experienced by our citizens, who at these times are either trying to get to work and be productive or trying to get home, and there is so much more to be done when we get home! Somehow you can sense that when there is confusion ahead that a traffic cop is responsible. Traffic cops should only intervene when someone obviously breaks the law or endangers others.
It seems pellucidly clear that both the GPF and the Ministry of Home Affairs focus is on traffic rather than the prevention, detection and the solving of violent crimes. It appears that far more resources go into traffic than crime units. You can pass as many as six traffic police between Lusignan and Georgetown on any given morning, except when it’s raining of course, as traffic cops are also dry weather cops. Every recruit wants to be placed within the traffic department, as this is where the fast money can be made.
This has political implications as well. One of the biggest fears of mainly PPP supporters is the fear of violent crime, and yet this government stands idle in the face of such a misuse of resources and poor strategy. What is the policy directive and strategy of the subject Minister? Particularly PPP supporters leave these shores in droves because of armed robberies and the fear of such while the police focus on bolstering their traffic arm.
Traffic ranks should only be given motor bikes, as these are sufficient for their purposes and allow them to navigate traffic better; all other vehicles should be made available to the crime units. How many times have we heard the excuse that the police do not have vehicles to respond to armed robberies? Where are all those shiny SUVs that are handed over by the government and taxpayers?
Lastly, do the police use a scientific approach to making streets ‘one-ways’ and the placement of no parking/stopping signs? Are there consultations with the Ministry of Public Works? Are any studies done that look at the impact and implications of these decisions, or are they just ad hoc? Look at the congestion that is being caused near Marian Academy due to no parking/stopping signs, and chaos because of the one-ways created in Alberttown. Why can’t private citizens park along the stretch of road between South Car Park and Plaisance Car Park? Could the police say where private citizens should park/stop? There are lots of businesses and citizens that are disrupted daily.
I hope the relevant authorities take the foregoing into consideration; I don’t expect to get a response from either the police or the Ministry of Home Affairs.