Dramatic action is needed to protect all road users

Dear Editor,

Carnage on our roads and life-long road injuries have reached epidemic proportions, leapfrogging all other diseases and murders! Guyanese need to know that this is a catastrophic crisis in our country and yet these mostly avoidable road tragedies are placed on a back-burner. Before this epidemic expands, dramatic action is needed to protect all road users, particularly those most vulnerable….our children!

Road traffic crashes are avoidable and undermining our economy, keeping hundreds of Guyanese families in constant poverty. Many of the road crash victims are young people…..our future….we cannot allow their safety to be an afterthought.

With the explosion of the number of imported vehicles we need a collective effort from our elected officials, road engineers, Police, educators in our schools, hospital officials, and countless others. We urgently need a safer public and private transport system, strengthening of our road safety laws, road safety education in our schools should be a compulsory subject and more importantly we need to change our road users’ behaviour. Speeding, drinking/drunk driving, unlit parked trucks on our highways, overtaking on double yellow lines, talking and texting on a phone whilst driving has globally surpassed driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Talking and texting on a phone whilst driving is against the law!

It is alleged that many persons are driving without completing the required road licence tests. Some drivers cannot read or write yet hold a legitimate driver’s licence. Too often we see two adults with a child riding a motorcycle (yet another law ignored), but guess who are wearing the helmets? Shame, shame, shame on those adults not protecting our most precious gift….our children!

Only through a concerted effort can we make our roads safer for all Guyanese in every community. The Alicea Foundation’s passion, together with Mothers In Black is never to hear another parent receive the message that their loved one has been killed on our roads, though whilst writing this short message I hear the chilling cries of others who have just lost their loved one because of yet another “avoidable” vehicle crash.

Yours for the safety of our children,

Denise Dias

Founder: The Alicea Foundation/

Mothers In Black

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