The traffic department of the Guyana Police Force has recorded 34 road fatalities for the year so far when compared to 30 fatalities from 21 accidents in 2015. Out of the 34 fatalities, three were children.
According to acting traffic officer Boodnarine Persaud, speeding and use of alcohol continued to be the main causes of accidents while other causes include inattentiveness by pedestrians and pedal cyclists, lack of care at intersections, among other factors.
Pedestrians and motorcyclists represented the largest categories of those killed during 2016, 10 and 8 respectively.
“Motorcyclists continue to use the road recklessly without thinking about their own safety or that of other road users,” Persaud stated.
Most of the accidents involving motorcyclists, he added, have resulted from speeding and the use of alcohol but in some cases, the riders and pillions were not fitted with safety helmets.
“The two recent accidents involving motorcyclists, have seen a 19-year-old speeding along Grove Public Road, without a helmet, lost control of his vehicle, fell down and skidded into a parked motorcar thus resulted in his death, and on the Essequibo Coast a 21-one-year-old motorcyclist was speeding along Aurora Public Road, lost control and drove off the road, killing his 17-year-old pillion. The motorcycle was not registered and the cyclist was unlicensed.”
On the other hand, the traffic chief stated that pedal cyclists also continue to use the road in a careless manner, while making reference to the use of alcohol topped with riding without lights, brakes, reflectors, and bells.
The Traffic Department over the years has conducted enforcement exercises against unlighted cycles resulting in several being seized since the perpetrators find it difficult to pay the fines imposed on them.
In an effort to ease accidents, the Guyana Police Force Traffic Department has embarked on a series of road safety awareness programmes which include drivers’ seminars, lecture to school children, distribution of flyers, exhibitions and radio and television programmes.
The enforcement exercises against lawless drivers continued with 7375 drivers prosecuted for speeding while 625 were prosecuted for driving under the influence of alcohol.