$$M for President’s pension, but traffic wardens’ salaries inadequate – AFC
Government’s intervention to help curb the chaos on the roads by implementing Traffic Wardens is welcome, however, such measures will not be adequate because the proposed salaries for the wardens are on par with the woefully inadequate starting salaries of police officers, which may breed corruption.
This notion was expressed by AFC Executive Member Gerhard Ramsaroop at the party’s recent weekly press briefing at its Fourth Street, Campbellville headquarters.
Ramsaroop asserted that the Government has the money to deal with the situation, but clearly, not the will.
“There is an increase in the earnings from VAT by some 8 billion dollars over what was earned in 2007, only four years ago. Even before then, the Government had 168 million dollars to give to Buddy’s (to complete the main hotel) for the Cricket World Cup. And today, the Government has 1.8 billion dollars to spend on laptops. It has 2.8 billion dollars to put into the Marriott project. It has 10 million dollars to pay advisors at OP, not to mention the millions it spends on entertainment such as Feminition and the recent Building Expo. And it has 36 million dollars to pay for the President’s pension when he demits office.”
Ramsaroop said among the issues that will remain unresolved are: alcohol and drug abuse by drivers, lack of street-lighting, stray animals, bribery, the ownership of minibuses by members of the Guyana Police Force, the absence of regular traffic education for school-children and adults, lack of storage-lanes on some highways, badly demarcated lanes on roads, inappropriate major roads, inferior road paint, poor signage, and corruption in the issuance of drivers’ licences.
Adding that that the seriousness of the situation has been allowed to fester under this Government’s watch, Ramsaroop said the party expects a much better response than the mere appointment of traffic wardens.
“The AFC, once again calls for the immediate deployment of undercover traffic ranks. This does not require any training period as would be necessary for the traffic wardens. Ranks can be switched around from outlying areas and other counties to minimise recognition by drivers.
“They can maintain their cover by texting infractions committed to the nearest police station. For safety they can operate in pairs, and to minimise collusion the pairs can be switched periodically.”
Ramsaroop however noted that given the continued high crime experienced in Guyana, and the high likelihood of imposters posing as police officials, these ranks must be in uniform at all times, and should not operate at night.
Underscoring that the AFC notes that the working people of Guyana bear the brunt of the chaos on the roadways, Ramsaroop said some of the victims are the people who least can afford to bury their dead, and take care of maimed and crippled relatives long after the accidents have been forgotten.
In offering a solution if the AFC assumes office, Ramsaroop said that the party will have incentives to bring the big buses back for the long routes, (this is not to exclude minibuses) placing existing traffic lights where they are needed most, utilising four-way-stop systems instead of traffic lights, demarcating existing roads with more lanes where possible, setting separate speed limits for heavy vehicles, and utilising the State media for traffic education instead of propaganda.
Meanwhile, the AFC advised that where it can be proven that a driver involved in an accident obtained a driver’s licence fraudulently, the State can be held liable. Under what is called vicarious liability, the State is liable if it is proven that an employee of the State while in the service of the State issued a fraudulent licence.