Despite fewer accidents, there has been an increase in road fatalities for the year, according to the police force.

Up to the end of July, 71 road fatalities had been recorded from 58 accidents, in comparison with 67 fatalities recorded from 61 accidents for the same period in 2014, the Guyana Police Force announced in a statement yesterday.

There have also been decreases in all other categories of road accidents, the statement added.

Up to Thursday, there were at least six fatal accidents for this month. Byron Persaud, 46, of Vryheid’s Lust, was fatally hit while attempting to cross the roadway at Montrose, East Coast Demerara on August 1st. Sydney Higgins, 64, of South Amelia’s Ward, Linden, met a tragic end on August 7th, after a truck laden with logs toppled while descending a hill and he was pinned. On August 10th, the body of overseas-based Guyanese contractor Ramdass Soman was found on the parapet of the Yakusari, Black Bush Polder canal, while his vehicle was submerged in the waterway. It was suspected that Soman may have been speeding on the Yakusari/Joppa access road and lost control of his vehicle. Latoya Thompson, 27, of Craig, East Bank Demerara, was killed on Wednesday. She was at the time a pillion rider on a motorcycle that was hit by a driver who failed to stop at a traffic light at Eccles. The driver fled. On Thursday, 12-year-old Bidesh Mohabeer and his 19-year-old cousin Rupesh Jadoo died after their vehicle crashed into a bus shed at Lima Public Road, Essequibo Coast.

Pedestrians, according to police, made up the majority of the fatalities, with 25 having lost their lives up to the end of July, 2015. In addition, six pedal cyclists, 18 persons in motor vehicles, 10 motorcyclists, nine drivers, two pillion riders and a person who was being towed on a bicycle also lost their lives.

Speeding was identified as the major contributory factor in the fatal accidents, having been the cause of 29 of the 58 fatal accidents unto July. In response, the force urged motorists to reduce their speed when using the roadways and to take cognisance of the five Cs of defensive driving—care, common-sense, courtesy, caution and consideration.

Police added that traffic enforcement has resulted in a total of 31,201 cases being made against errant motorists at the end of July, including 13,129 cases for speeding, 942 for driving under the influence of alcohol, 362 for using cell phones while driving and 873 for failing to wear seat belts.

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