The Minister of Home Affairs is meeting with various personnel involved in ‘traffic.’ Regulating and regularizing all aspects of the traffic situation is commendable. There is talk about a secondary or different roadway on which containers should travel. My respectful suggestion is that containers should not be allowed to move their cargo along the roadways. Importers should make arrangements to have their goods transported to their places of business or homes by means of smaller trucks and/or vans. Our roads are not geared for containers and other heavy duty traffic.
It is a common sight for containers to park along the roadway for days on end, and some are used by commercial houses to transact business. When they remain on the roadway they cause subsidence and damage to the roads. They take them to the countryside and destroy the roadways in the villages when they come out. Arrangements could be made for the containers to be housed at a location (point A) from where the goods could be transferred to other smaller vehicles. To get to point A, containers would have to follow designated roads and times.
Other traffic issues: We see an increase in the number of motorized vehicles on the roads, but we do not see the same fraction of learner drivers. There is a perception that driving licences are for sale for $50,000. A police station on the East Coast of Demerara has the honour or notoriety of dispensing such a service. There is no need for rocket scientists to investigate and trap these purveyors of death and destruction on our roadways. I think the law is still in force requiring that anyone who seeks to drive a commercial vehicle – hire car, minibus, lorry, etc – must be no less than a certain age, and must have been the holder of a valid licence for at least two years.
Court prosecutors must demand orders of disqualification from holding or obtaining driving licences for a minimum period of at least 12 months of those convicted for dangerous driving or driving under the influence of drink or drugs. It is time the police and the courts get rid of the fallacy that persons can only be charged or convicted when they are involved in accidents.
When anyone is caught driving without the requisite driving licence or is in breach of insurance he should be disqualified for a period of time, and if the vehicle belongs to someone else the owner of the vehicle should be prosecuted for permitting the breach of the licence or insurance.
Consideration should be urgently given to setting up a traffic court presided over by an experienced attorney-at-law. Justices of the peace and traffic wardens cannot solve the problem. Traffic offenders should be dealt with swiftly and condignly.
And finally, for the moment, cannot the Georgetown traffic police put a stop to the glaringly disgusting nonsense by which business people obstruct the roadways, especially in Lombard Street and Regent Street (and other streets also), by placing obstacles where consumers cannot park their vehicles? We see some signs as: ‘Reserved for vehicle no…‘ Can they not only enforce the rule that minibuses stop only at the designated bus stops and not willy nilly all over the place? There is no use the Traffic Chief screaming about traffic problems when he has the solution at his disposal. Let him instruct his charges to deal with all offenders with an even hand, and not wave off some minibuses and harass others whose drivers are not recognized as driving vehicles owned by their colleagues.
(Name and address provided)