112 road fatalities recorded in 9 months

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An accident scene earlier this year

For the year 2020 so far, a total of 112 persons, which represents a 51 per cent increase from last year’s figures, have died as a result of road accidents across the country.

This was revealed on Wednesday during the launch of the “Road Safety & You” television programme in commemoration of Road Safety Month.

The launching of Road Safety Month 2020 was hosted by the Guyana National Road Safety Council (GNRSC) in collaboration with the Guyana Police Force (GPF).

During the launching, Public Works Minister Juan Edghill said the Government has begun to step up its road safety efforts.

“In the 2021 Budget, we will be allocating funds to allocate bicycle lanes where the space is available, highway lighting, improving the geometry of the critical sections of our roads, in addition (to) traffic signs, traffic signals, and the construction of pedestrian overpasses and walkways,” he revealed.

The Minister added that there has been a 17 per cent increase in pedestrian deaths in 2020, compared to the same period in 2019. He explained that as Guyana was fighting with the novel coronavirus, the GPF announced that as of October 6, there had been a 51 per cent increase in fatalities for this year.

According to Edghill, there are certain areas that need to be addressed. These include the use of alcohol while driving, speeding, overworked drivers, carelessness, use of cellular phones while driving, loveplaying while driving, lane driving, selling and buying at the road corner, and texting while driving.

“When it comes to road safety, it must not only be the harm it will do to others, we have to start getting the message of what it will do that indiscipline road user …,” the Minister said.

Meanwhile, Traffic Chief Ramesh Ashram said according to Police statistics, there were 103 accidents as opposed to 70 accidents over the same period last year and 112 deaths this year while there were 74 deaths over the corresponding period in 2019.

It has also been reported that four children lost their lives in 2020 so far as compared to seven in 2019.

Meanwhile, the Road Safety Council said the aim of its 2020 campaign was to observe the Road Safety Month, by raising awareness of road laws, and sharing road safety tips and guidance through a series of videos, interviews, and discussions with a wide cross-section of persons.