Many drivers are not qualified to drive

Dear Editor,

 

Quite a while back I penned a letter suggesting that it should be mandatory for auto body workshops to report on any work to be carried out on a vehicle to the nearest police station in order to help combat crime, especially that involving hit and run accidents. No one seems to have heeded my advice and many lives have been taken without justice being meted out to the perpetrators, except in a few cases.

Lives are being lost also to carjacking, and many of these cars are taken to different locations for stripping, and the parts sold or altered. Most of this work is done at body workshops unknown to the body workman. In some cases, excuses are made and often stray animals get the blame. If one chats with an auto works person you would hear incredible stories whilst they are doing their work. They may have their suspicions but are scared to report these. However, if the law were in place they wouldn’t have to be scared.

Editor, death lurks in every corner and our current Traffic Chief recently found it fitting to cast some of the blame on stray animals for accidents. The stray animals don’t have a voice to prove their innocence, and everyone seems to accept the Traffic Chief’s excuse. How are we to believe the Traffic Chief when laws are being broken daily at the car parks, especially at the Route 45 bus park at Stabroek. Over the years (long before the current Traffic Chief was appointed) numerous complaints, articles and pictures, etc, were published about this, yet to date no proper mechanism has been put in place to fight this lawlessness which is causing tremendous inconvenience to others.

It is my humble opinion that many drivers are not qualified to drive vehicles on our roadways, but because of the greedy actions of some, licences are being issued to those who are not worthy, and thus some of them eventually become legal roadway killers. It’s time the method for the issuance of licences be revisited, and rechecks made on those which have already been issued. Many of the licence holders cannot even read, so how can they study their package?

Recently, there’s been hardly any police presence with breathalyzers and radar (speed guns) on the roadways. Why can’t they be more consistent? Do they have a shortage of radar guns and breathalyzer machines? Why not require the government to get more?

Over the years, we have seen an upsurge in Chinese businesses and as a result, many things have become available and cheap, but people seem to be utilizing them for the wrong purposes or not taking the opportunities being provided. What I mean to say is that there’s a lot of battery operated lights of all descriptions that could be used on bicycles, but still riders could be seen riding dangerously on our roadways at night, and their careless actions could cause their lives and other lives to be lost. Why can’t the police resume their campaign and arrest these careless riders and charge them? Some of these bicycles don’t even have brakes or the legally required instruments on them.

Finally, Editor, the previous administration got rid of the two pastures in Leonora (I’m not certain if the same occurred throughout Guyana) where farmers would cut grass to feed their animals. The farmers were offered no other option, thus the animals could be seen all over looking for food, but with the introduction of the stray catchers, the farmers have been very vigilant about trying to ensure that they stay off the public roads. This resulted in a steep decline in accidents involving animals. Because of the scarcity of animals on the public roads, motorists who seem to be in the habit of hitting them are now running off the roads and in some cases, going into people’s yards and houses. I am seeing an alarming increase in that!

With the expansion of our roadways, the roads are now coming closer to houses, so how are we going to cope with that? Is there anywhere those living close to the roadways could live without fear of waking up to see a car in their bedroom or below them? In Guyana vehicles have already started to venture into people’s houses and in some cases go upstairs. If motorists drove within the speed limit, they would be able to fully control their vehicles; there wouldn’t be so many accidents; and caution would be exercised when motorists saw animals on the roadways.

Yes, the animals would get a few curses and even the administration as well, but there would not be so many deaths.

 

Yours faithfully,

Sahadeo Bates

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