By Kristen Macklingam
Fatal accidents in the country have recorded a whopping 50 per cent increase in comparison to the same period last year. There has also been a 21 per cent increase in minor accidents as well.
Last year, during the same period, a total of 40 accidents were reported against 60 accidents being reported for this year. This is according to Traffic Chief Dion Moore who posited that Driving Under the Influence (DUI) has been identified as the major cause for some of these accidents, while speeding was responsible for most of the reported fatal accidents in the country.
A total of 12,161 persons have been charged so far for speeding as this is the offence that police have issued the most tickets for, Moore said.
Meanwhile, in light of a massive increase in vehicular accidents for the year being recorded by the Guyana Police Force (GPF) the Traffic Task Force (TTF) has been reintroduced to curb such accidents.
Records show that there has been a 61 per cent increase in these accidents. It was noted that one of the major reasons these accidents occur is because many drivers continue to use cellular phones while operating their vehicles.
Moore in a recent interview with the media also stated that another contributing factor for the increase in vehicular accidents is inattentiveness.
He stated that the traffic department’s main focus will be to capture drivers who choose to drive above the prescribed speed limit. Focus will also be placed on apprehending drivers who breach traffic light control signals and use cellular phones while operating their vehicles.
It is hoped that with the reintroduction of the TTF, these concerns will be addressed along with other traffic violations. This task force will be made up of police ranks inclusive of Inspectors who will be conducting enforcement in all police Divisions throughout Guyana.
According to Moore, handling matters which include drivers who were operating vehicles while using their cellular phones is a challenging one since to effectively charge them for this violation proves to be very difficult.
The Traffic Chief posited that a number of persons while committing the above mentioned offence, upon recognising police ranks on the roadways, drop their cellular phones inside of the vehicle and remain in the same position that they were in. They then try to contest with the police officers about being on the phone while driving.
However, the police have been assisted by surveillance cameras that are installed across the city he added.