Traffic symbols, signs, and rules are most important for both pedestrians and vehicular users’ safety. At the junction of Camp Street and Brickdam, I have noticed for the past year that there have been a myriad of accidents. At this intersection some vehicular users seem to think they have the right of way, and thus, refuse to come to a stop before proceeding onwards.
Traffic lights are one of the many things that are in place to keep road users watchful and safe, at least the working ones. The ones at Camp Street and Brickdam are most times completely off during peak and off-peak hours, or sometimes only flashing red and/or flashing amber at all four corners.
It was those not-fully-working traffic lights that led to those accidents. The most recent accident occurred in the afternoon last Friday, 13th April, involving a taxi and a private car. This resulted in the front of the taxi ending up in the drain, with its rear in the air by the former St Mary’s High School. Two months prior to that, the Roman Catholic Church Presbytery was placed in unexpected expense after a car came crashing through their fence on the north-western side of the above-mentioned streets. Earlier this year, a pedestrian was hit down on the zebra crossing, in the not so busy morning hours (around 6.25 am).
These accidents at the not-working traffic lights caused me to seek answers to a few questions:
1. Is there a special section of the Traffic Department of the Guyana Police Force tasked with ensuring all traffic lights are working?
2. Are the rules about slowing down at pedestrian crossings no longer in existence with or without a working traffic light?
3. Are vehicular commuters unaware of what a flashing red and flashing amber mean?
5. Do we as a nation no longer care for the safety of ourselves, much less the safety of other road users?