Police are not managing reverse systems here; this has caused at least one death

Dear Editor,

After losing my fiancé just over a month ago in a vehicular accident it is with anger, sorrow, confusion and tears that I pen this letter, knowing that my life could have been taken in a similar manner.

Just after 8 am yesterday morning I was heading to the Ogle Airport. I decided to drive through Campbellville to join the Railway Embankment, popularly called ‘Line Top’ road. The traffic light was green so I made a right turn heading east onto the Railway Embankment. To my surprise there was a vehicle occupying my lane. I was fortunate to halt my car before slamming head on into the vehicle. That’s when I realized that a reverse lane had been opened, since the Railway Embankment, which usually accommodates vehicles heading in an easterly direction, was now only available to vehicles heading in a westerly direction.

Like the East Bank Demerara (EBD) Public Road, the Railway Embankment is the only other road I am of aware of that is subject to a reverse system which allows traffic to flow in an opposite direction during certain hours of the day. I was totally unaware of this, and there was no police rank or traffic sign to indicate what was happening.

Editor, I am desperate to know why the Guyana Police Force Traffic Department continues to fail citizens by not ensuring their complete safety in this regard. The reverse traffic system is being operated without widespread public education. While necessary to ensure traffic flow, this reverse system is extremely dangerous.

My fiancé, Harry Brijmohan who died at Houston on November 18, 2016, was heading home that fateful morning when he slammed into a motorcar occupying his lane.

As someone who was not accustomed to using the EBD road during the reverse system, he fell prey to the ad-hoc and in my view and that of many others, poorly managed road reverse system. There are no signs on the roadway, and sometimes no police rank comes or no traffic cones placed to indicate the changes. It was noticeable that the Monday following my fiancé’s death the police saw it fit to place cones from Rahaman’s Park all the way to McDoom.

Editor who is responsible for ensuring this system works? Are they trained in proper road management? I dare say that if this person cannot function he or she should be fired immediately and someone knowledgeable hired. To date the EBD road and the Railway Embankment, as seen yesterday, are not managed properly. Up to now, why are the police not publicising these changes on television, radio and in the newspapers on a regular basis if they fail to erect signs? Why are there no permanent signs which say between these days and these hours, the traffic system changes ‒ and not signs you read a few feet from where the system is being operated, but notification some distance away so drivers are aware of what is happening ahead.

Signs in the city indicate the days for paid parking, so why not the same for this operation? The police noticed the need for change after my fiancé’s death, but never issued a statement on the matter, not even one that reassured citizens that all was being done to ensure their safety during the reverse system, and make the public aware of when these traffic changes occur.

Reverse systems happen all over the world, why is it not being done right here? I call on those in charge, I call on citizens to speak up. Many are dying on our roadways, and we do not want the state adding to the danger we face.  The management of these roads has got to improve or else Editor, many families will go through the sorrow I am facing right now.

Yours faithfully,

Zena Henry

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