I was stopped by the police with an 18 year girl in the car
She was just 18 years old but she was brave enough to come out of the car and offer her opinion to the police. She was bold enough to let the particular officer know that the police had erred. He was a pleasant rank alright but his superiors let him down.
There is no question in my mind that the Guyana Police Force (GPF) on many occasions has failed to employ commonsense in its work and function. Guyana’s social fabric and its physiology have deteriorated so badly after Independence that the disease shows up all in the time in many institutions and one of them is GPF that has displayed ignorance of commonsense over periods of time.
Here is a hypothetical example of a lack of commonsense. Regent Street has been a two-way carriageway for over a hundred years. One morning some smart ass in the GPF wakes up and decides to make Regent Street a one-way road. Fine! No problem! Maybe he understands what he is doing. If he is knowledgeable to know why he is changing the direction of traffic flow on Regent Street then he must have commonsense. We cannot function as the Homo sapiens species if we do not possess commonsense.
So this guy turns Regent Street into a one-way with users only allowed to go from west to east. Now remember perhaps the entire population of the country grew up accepting Regent Street as a two-way road. It is stupid for the GPF to go outside of the Botanical Gardens and paint a “no-entry” sign at the beginning of Regent Street.
Not only is it stupid; it is completely devoid of commonsense. Since people are accustomed to using Regent Street as a two-way lane, then without the “no-entry” signs, they will continue to use it as they did years ago
It is foolish to put the warning only outside the Botanical Gardens. Only motorists traveling on Vlissengen Road and going west on Regent Street will see the warning. What happens if a driver turns into Regent Street from one of the many intersecting roads, for example, Light Street, Camp Street, King Streets etc? Commonsense will instruct you that if you can no longer travel from east to west on Regent Street then at each intersection where a road runs into Regent Street, you have to mark it with a “no-entry” notice.
A few months ago, the GFP turned a number of pathways in Alberttown and Queenstown into one-way carriages. These are roads that have been two-ways for over a century. The logic was sound so the police did what it thought was right and indeed it was right. The congestion made driving uncomfortable. But a nice policy turned into a nightmare because the police lacked commonsense.
Permit me a moment of chauvinism – there is no one in the GPF that knows Georgetown roads more than me. I am a Georgetowner born and bred. When it comes to Cummings Street, I married a woman over thirty-three years ago. She lived all her life on a section of Cummings Street named Louisa Row
Last week, 18-year-old Oshal Austin of the Alliance for Change asked me for a letter of recommendation for her uncle. She requested a ride to drop it off at a particular business place because the deadline was just within half an hour. I obliged.
On our way back to her work in Queenstown, we went east on New Market Street and turned south into Cummings Street. A traffic rank stopped me and said I was in violation of the one-way restriction on Cummings Street where you can only travel north.
He was very polite and professional and advised me to remember that in the future. But I remonstrated with him. I told him that that on each intersection with Cummings Street there must be a “no entry” notice. If there was one at Cummings and New Market Streets then I would not have turned onto a one-way track.
Ms. Austin told him about the necessity of signs too. He said there was on but it faded. I challenged him on that. We went and we looked meticulously at the road at the junction; there was none.
Guess what. Cummings Street is now a south to north one-way but the GPF put the sign at the beginning of the road at Lamaha Street. One sign only. Last Monday, President Ramotar and his outriders made the same mistake I committed last week. They drove down the wrong way on the same one-way.