On December 15, 2019, Commissioner of Police Leslie James met with the traffic heads of each administrative region to devise a strategy to address what was termed ‘road madness’ in Guyana.
Twenty-one persons had died in a span of days in November, highlighting the need for a more aggressive approach to tackle errant drivers and other delinquent road users,
Ironically, the drivers decided to go ‘buck wild’ during road safety week and in the end; operation ‘Safe Roads’, was launched.
But sadly, just a mere three days after that very launch to make the roads safer, a speeding mini bus crashed into a truck laden with beer; taking five more innocent lives.
126 from 105
From 2019 statistics obtained from the Police Traffic Department, there have been 105 road accidents, resulting in 126 persons being killed.
Traffic Chief Linden Isles disclosed that of these road mishaps, 90 percent of them are caused by drunk drivers; and another scourge that has been plaguing Guyana’s roadways for decades: SPEEDING.
Organizations like the National Road Safety Commission and the Police Traffic Department have repeatedly called on road users to be vigilant and obey traffic laws.
Even the head of state, saddened by the frequent horrific deaths called on the nation to exercise caution on Guyana’s road ways.
President David Granger appealed to road users to observe the Guyana Police Force’s code of behaviour – care, caution, consideration, common sense and courtesy.
But these calls seem to fall on deaf ears daily. Social media and the daily newspapers are filled with headlines and stories of horrific accidents where persons were either killed or left with life changing injures.
Maria Bisnauth who died in the deadly Nismes smash-up.
Traffic Chief, Superintendent
Driver of the minibus
in the Mahaicony accident Seechan
Traffic Department doing all they can
According to the Traffic Chief, Linden Isles, the department has been working assiduously to address traffic lawlessness evident by the launch of operation ‘Safe Roads’. But he stressed that commuters also need to play their part in ensuring that they obey traffic laws.
“I think the public is being the judge presently because we are doing what we have to do; we have been educating persons, we have been enforcing…we’re doing everything that we are supposed to do, we have patrols out, education programs, we have TV and radio programs, we are doing all that we can.”
He pointed out that once the attitude of road users changes, only then will positive change be seen, mirroring the statements made by the Commissioner, Leslie James.
The traffic chief added that “this whole situation is an attitude situation and if persons don’t change their attitudes, we will continue to have these accidents.” “It is sad…a sad situation, but we have to call it as it is.”
Despite these worrying numbers, the traffic chief remained optimistic that the department will continue with their campaign and press forward.
“The police will continu