Road safety advocates call for ‘points system’ in Guyana

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Several organisations, which have partnered to promote road safety, are calling on the relevant authorities to implement the penalty point system, used globally for drivers.

The penalty point or demerit point system is one in which a driver’s licensing authority, Police force, or other organisation issues increasing offences, or points to drivers on conviction for road traffic offenses. Points may either be added or subtracted, depending on the particular system in use.

If the total point exceeds a limit, the offender may be disqualified from driving or have their drivers’ license revoked or suspended.

The implementation of this system is being supported by organisations including the National Road Safety Council, The Guyana Motor Racing Sport Club (GMRSC), and Mothers in Black, among others in a bid to have drivers use the road safely and prevent the loss of more lives.

This recommendation was tabled by representative of GMRSC, Cheryl Gonsalves, who viewed this to be effective in promoting road safety as it is widely used in other parts of the world.

“The Guyana Police Force should implement the point system, whereas when an accident is happened, the drivers should have points deducted out of their drivers licence…The police force should induct something like that in order to have less road accidents with everybody knowing well I have to be careful in order for me to not lose, my licence…they have a lot to do in making the roads a little bit more safer other than the National Road Safety Council,” Gonsalves stated.

In supporting the motion, Retired Senior Superintendent of the GPF and Member of the Road Safety Council, Owen Trots added that the law enforcement committee under the council is working towards increasing the fine specifically for intoxicated and speeding drivers, however, according to him the effectiveness of this all depends on the attitude of the drivers.

“We are also working on increasing the fine of speeding drivers, and driving under the influence of drinks or drugs.

“But what I’m saying is the attitude. You can increase the fine, get jail term but it’s the attitude of the persons out there,” he said.

World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims 2019 is being observed on November 17, under the theme “Life is not a car part”.

Meanwhile, the week of activities for road safety month organized by the partnering organizations will commence on November 24, with symposiums, visits to the Georgetown Public Hospital and outreaches in the city.

These activities are being held under the theme “Accident can be deadly, drive defensive and stay alive”.