… Rohee tables amendment to traffic law
In the wake of several horrific road fatalities this year, the Minister of Home Affairs, Clement Rohee has tabled an amendment to the Motor Vehicles and Road Traffic Amendment Act.
The amendment seeks to give the Commissioner of Police the power to appoint a person as a Traffic Warden with the approval of the Minister. It lays out the principal functions of the Traffic Warden.
These include assisting members of the Police Force in the controlling and regulating of traffic; and in the enforcement of the law relating to road traffic.
The amendment empowers Traffic Wardens to issue traffic tickets and to perform duties similar to that of a member of the Police Force.
It also makes failure to comply with directions given by a Warden or obstructing a Warden in the execution of his/her duties an offence punishable by a fine and imprisonment.
The Amendment was tabled last Thursday, just days before the Road Safety Council released statistics on road fatalities for the year to date. According to the Council, there has been an increase this year over last year for the corresponding period.
The very next day after the tabling of the amendment, one unfortunate pedestrian was struck down and killed on the spot by a speeding minibus at McDoom on the East Bank of Demerara.
According to a report carried by this paper on Saturday last, within the first seven months in 2010, there were 62 accidents resulting in the deaths of 59 adults and four children.
While for this year, so far, there were 65 accidents and 71 fatalities, including five children. Statistics show that in 2009, 18 children died as a result of vehicular accidents; seven children died in 2010.
In recent weeks some of the more widely reported accidents are those of two cousins, Alika Samuels and Shaka Anthony, who were killed in an accident at One Mile, Wismar, Linden. Kishrie Persaud was killed by a hit-and-run driver; nine-year-old Jaswattie Ramnauth was killed by a speeding vehicle; and five passengers of a speeding minibus were killed in an accident on Homestretch Avenue.
Many of these horrific accidents were attributed to drunk and/or speeding drivers who were abusing their rights to the roadway while at the same time ignoring the rights of others to safe passage. More often than not the victims were the most vulnerable group-pedestrians.
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