Minister within the Ministry of Public Infrastructure (MPI) Annette Ferguson has called on commuters to speak out against errant minibus drivers.
“They [minibus drivers] do not observe the rules of the road, they continue to double up the minibuses, they continue to double up the minibuses, they continue [to] triple up the minibuses. These are things that I observe on a daily basis when using the road, and we have users of these transportation services that they do not speak out, they remain silent,” Minister Ferguson was quoted as saying, in a Department of Public Information (DPI) press release.
The minister, who was speaking yesterday at a Road Safety Education awareness village hosted at the Stabroek Market Square, according to the DPI press release, opined that remaining silent has contributed to the many road fatalities and the government cannot afford to lose valuable human resources because of the negligence of others.
Ferguson disclosed that for the year the MPI has spent millions of dollars to implement several road safety measures, according to the DPI media statement, including road repairs, road surface markings, installing speed bumps and street signs, outfitting main access roads with street lights, sidewalks and the construction of pedestrian overhead crossings. It was also highlighted that the ministry will also be conducting feasibility studies on the East Coast, West Coast and West Bank of Demerara to identify strategic points where more overhead pedestrian crossings can be placed.
Traffic Chief Dion Moore cited statistics which indicate that there have been 84 fatal accidents resulting in 95 deaths for the year, as compared with 104 accidents with 114 deaths for the corresponding period in 2016, according to the DPI media release. He added that while this is a significant decrease, more road users need to speak out against reckless driving, thereby ensuring less needless deaths.
“If we need our roads to be safe, then we must change our attitude when we use the road. Many times we see other persons doing things that are not in keeping with road safety practices, but what we do? We sit, relax or we go about our journey without saying a word. If we speak out, we can make a difference,” Moore was quoted in the DPI release, as saying.
This year’s road safety month theme was “Making roads safer for everyone starts with you. Observe, think, drive, a second is all it takes to save a life.”