Road fatalities up by 40%

-‘alarmed’ safety council urges stronger policing

Road fatalities are up by 40% for the year and the Guyana National Road Safety Council (GNRSC) says much more needs to be done to police the roadways to reduce the number of accidents and deaths.

According to the GNRSC’s statistics, to date Guyana has recorded 49 fatal accidents, which have resulted in 52 persons being killed, including five children. For the same period last year, it noted, there were 36 fatal accidents that resulted in 37 persons being killed, including two children.

Police recently noted the increase in road fatalities at the end of May in comparison with the same period last year and identified speeding as “a major contributing factor” to the fatal accidents recorded.

The GNRSC said in a statement on Thursday that it was alarmed at the situation and especially in the interior. “We are extremely concerned about the many lives that are being lost on our interior roads; we are recommending that the responsible agencies implement features that will make these roads safer for use such as the installations signs that indicate dangerous turns, steep hills or narrow bridge ahead,” it said, while noting that the nation needs to be reminded that it is continuing to lose precious lives on the roadways.

On Thursday, three men were killed and two others injured in an accident on the Bosai Mining Company’s internal road in the East Montgomery Mines at Linden. In the past year, there were 110 deaths on the roads, the GNRSC pointed out. It said a human face must be put on the “far from acceptable statistics” as too many families are left “without a father or a mother; mothers are robbed of those they have brought into the world, [and] fathers of their sons and daughters.”

The GNRSC said it is time to take the loss of life seriously and to make a determined effort to further reduce the number of accidents that have been occurring. It acknowledged that the police and the concerned authorities, through laws and education, are making a valiant attempt to bring some measure of order on the roads. “We commend them for this. But much more needs to be done,” it, however, said.

With statistics showing that many deaths are caused by indiscipline, speeding, and drivers who are under the influence of alcohol, according to the GNRSC, there must a stricter application of traffic regulations and greater deterrence to the breaking of traffic laws. “The GNRSC is convinced that this can be done and is prepared to work with all Guyanese who wish to make our roadways safe,” it said, while reiterating that the five C’s—Care, Caution, Courtesy, Consideration, and Common Sense—can also help to reduce accidents. It also pleaded once more with drivers to use the roadways with care and try at all times to avoid accidents.