Minister within the Ministry of Public Infrastructure Annette Ferguson, at the culmination of a march to honour the memory of traffic accident victims on Sunday, said that too many lives have been lost and pleaded with road users must use the roads more carefully.
Organized by the Guyana National Road Safety Council, in collaboration with the Guyana Police Force and the Ministry of Public Security, most of the participants were surviving family members of accident victims.
According to DPI, after marching from the Kitty roundabout to the Seawall bandstand brief messages were delivered by officials including the minister who described the event as “a significant but sad occasion.” She noted the need for more awareness campaigns targeting not only motorists but pedestrians.
Minister Ferguson added that “the government is indeed serious about road safety” as she highlighted ongoing efforts to ensure roads are properly marked, lit and equipped with sidewalks. She further urged passengers, especially those in minibuses to speak out against errant drivers, “the time has come for us to speak out.”
According to DPI, Guyana Road Safety Coordinator Ramona Doorgen said the aim internationally is to reduce road deaths by half the current amount of 1.2 million annually by 2020. On behalf of the Mothers in Black, Rosanna Debbi Dias noted that the pain always remains after the loss of a loved one and called on youths to be their brothers and sisters’, keepers.
PAHO/WHO Representative Dr. Paul Edwards explained that the event began in 1993 and after being ratified by the United Nations is now observed annually on the 3rd Sunday in November. He reflected on the “significant strain incurred due to traffic deaths in both families and communities,” pledging to provide technical support to improve road usage.
The rally culminated with an enactment of a traffic accident and the first aid demonstration by first responders. National Road Safety Week formally launches next Sunday with a 7am church service at the Eve Leary Officers’ Mess.