‘Suspend the licences of drunk drivers’ – the lobbying call by road safety stakeholders

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‘In Guyana some drivers use the roads as if they’re in a Hollywood action movie’ – Govt minister

 In light of the staggering revelation by Traffic Chief Dion Moore that road fatalities have increased by 21 per cent, the Guyana National Road Safety Council (GNRSC) has called strongly for suspension of licences of drivers who drive while intoxicated.

At the launch yesterday of Road Safety Month 2016, GNRSC explained that the relevant authorities should impose stricter penalties for drivers by taking away their licences if they are found to be under the influence of alcohol and drugs. This, the organisation noted, is aimed at reducing road accidents, thereby reducing road deaths.

The re-enactment scene warning about the dangers of road accidents (Carl Croker photo)
The re-enactment scene warning about the dangers of road accidents (Carl Croker photo)

However, Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan explained that all persons, including pedestrians, must consider their individual responsibilities when using the roadways, adding that a speeding car is a dangerous weapon.

“We also want to tell people that are using vehicles for profit, like minibus drivers and hire-car drivers [that] greed and gross indiscipline is going to cost this society lots more than you make,” Ramjattan stated.

Emphasising this year’s theme “Life does not have a reset button,” Junior Public Infrastructure Minister Annette Ferguson added that it is time for the State to relook at how it issues licences, adding that a demerit system should be introduced.

“In Guyana some drivers use the roads as if they’re in a Hollywood action movie; many of them are the major contributors to the road accidents… Life may not have a reset button, but we could find a ‘Stop It’ button – that says stop it to drunk driving [and] stop it to careless driving,” Ferguson declared.

road-1Also speaking at the launch was Education Minister Dr Rupert Roopnaraine who told the Parliament Square gathering that he feels it is wasteful that so many persons are losing their lives on the roads.

“There are few things more utterly wasteful than deaths by road accidents,” he noted.

Meanwhile Mothers in Black founder, Denise Dias, whose 17-year-old daughter was killed by an alleged drunk driver two decades ago, said that there should be enforcement of road laws.

Another re-enactment scene from yesterday's  launch of Road Safety Month
Another re-enactment scene from yesterday’s launch of Road Safety Month

“I find that many of us that have had to go through the judicial system – they have failed us. The road traffic Police have a lot on their hands, but then there are some [that] like to take bribes and so all the laws that are in place are just not being enforced.”

The event ended with an accident scene re-enactment, which was supported by the Guyana Red Cross Association.

 

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