The Traffic Department is intensifying its campaign against drivers whose vehicles have heavily tinted windows and slogans and those who breach other road rules, in order to curb recklessness on the roadways.
According to a Government Information Agency (GINA) press release, police will be using the tintometer to ensure compliance with the law as stated in the Trade Act. The regulation calls for 35 to 65 per cent light penetration and states that, “no person shall import into Guyana after the 4th day of April 1999 any motor vehicle which has fitted to it any glass or safety glass, or any other material used in the place of such glass or safety glass, which is so tinted or otherwise treated or coloured, in such a manner or to such extent, as would result in obstructing or in any way preventing the identification of the driver of the motor vehicle or any other person travelling in the motor vehicle by any person from outside the motor vehicle.”
When vehicles are registered, the Licence Revenue Office conducts the reading of the tint on the glass of the vehicles.
The results are then forwarded to the Ministry of Home Affairs for approval from the minister. At a meeting with minibus and taxi drivers, Minister Clement Rohee emphasised that the law states that vehicles with manufacturers’ tint should not be imported.
However, there has been an influx of said vehicles and as such government has instituted a provision where the minister could use his discretion to grant a six-month waiver so that the owner of the vehicle can acquire the fitness certificate. GINA noted that there have been instances where the minister’s signature has been forged and where persons darken the tint on their vehicles after having acquired the waiver.
Government has also made other interventions to curb recklessness on the roadways.
These include the introduction of the Driving Under the Influence (DUI) regulation, the seat belt regulation, the use of radar guns and more recently, an amendment to the Motor Vehicles and Road Traffic Act to provide for the appointment of traffic wardens.
According to GINA, the latter regulation needs more public support to be implemented. Persons interested in the position are required to have a sound secondary education.
They will also be required to take a simple test and undergo a short period of training after which they will be paid a monthly salary to assume the post.
Several objections have also been outlined in the Guyana Police Strategic Plan 2011-2015 including legislation to ensure that additional traffic offences are dealt with by tickets; review existing traffic legislation and reduce overall number of road accidents, particularly those caused by speeding and drunk driving.
In 2011, the Traffic Department recorded an alarmingly high number of road fatalities and it has since been appealing to citizens to observe the rules of the road and advising those who work long hours to be more vigilant on the roadways.
This year, the traffic department plans to enlist assistance from persons in the entertainment industry to get the message of road safety across to the wider population. This awareness exercise would target minibus and taxi drivers. Plans are also in train to step up the education programme on road safety in schools.