The National Road Safety Council of Guyana has launched the “Stop The Tears” Campaign, an initiative to address and reduce the high percentage of deaths recorded on Guyana’s roadways. A teardrop logo was officially erected in Kitty, Georgetown.
A partnership of Pan American Health Organisation/World Health Organisation (PAHO/WHO), Traffic Department of the Guyana Police Force (GPF); Public Security Ministry, Public Health Ministry, Public Infrastructure Ministry and private sponsors, the efforts are linked to spreading awareness on the importance of practising road safety.
“We need to stop the tears. Road safety has become very dormant right now. People are not taking interest. We got to start knowing that this is a serious thing. Road safety is everybody’s business,” said National Road Safety Council Coordinator Ramona Doergen.
PAHO/WHO Representative, Dr Paul Edwards was present during the launch and emphasised on the worldwide impact of road deaths as he stated that the Organisation was pleased at the effort being made.
The WHO lists road carnage as the ninth leading cause of death across all age ranges from a global standpoint. Additionally, vehicular accidents lead to the loss of over 1.2 million lives and over 50 million non-fatal injuries. Half of the ones who die are pedestrians, motorcyclists and cyclists.
“Road traffic crashes are the main causes of death among people aged 15 to 29. In addition to the grief and suffering, road traffic crashes constitute an important public health and development problem with significant health and socio-economic costs,” said Edwards.
He added, “Road crashes cost Government between one to three per cent of their gross national product. In Guyana, road accidents are among the leading causes of deaths; the number one cause of death for persons between the ages of five and 14 years and the number two cause of death for persons between the ages of 15 and 24 years.”
Deputy Superintendent Dennis Stephen provided statistics which stated that 89 fatal accidents were recorded with a total of about 101 deaths.
“One death is enough. What we’re trying to do is to work along with all stakeholders to reduce fatalities on our road,” he stated.