Motorists have become accustomed to traffic lights that have been installed at strategic junctions around the city and at other crucial intersections around the country.
However, there have been much concerns voiced as it relates to the non-functioning or infrequent operation of some traffic lights.
One traffic light junction to which much concerns have been directed is one situated at Vreed-en-Hoop, West Coast Demerara.
The traffic light set-up which was installed prior to a massive installation programme in the city, have been known to work on an occasional basis. The situation has even reached the attention of Magistrate Fazil Azeez who in brief remarks to this newspaper said that commuting in the vicinity of the Vreed-en-Hoop junction could take a motorists about 20 minutes to move from one point to another.
According to Magistrate Azeez, who is tasked with presiding at both the Vreed-en-Hoop and the Leonora Magistrate courts, his worse experience was perhaps last Friday.
This he attributed to the fact that there are instances when although the lights are not working there are no traffic ranks on duty to monitor the traffic.
“Everybody wants to get there first. Nobody wants to give anybody the right of way. They need to have a traffic rank there every day and they need to regulate the flow of traffic in that area.”
According to the Magistrate he made his observation and offered recommendations, even as he speculated that he has not been taken seriously.
Another cause for concern, Magistrate Azeez disclosed, is the fact that there is a pedestrian crossing at the very junction. “I have talked about that pedestrian crossing right at that junction time again. What happens is that whenever the traffic comes and as soon as it turns, whether the lights are working or not, there is a backlog of traffic even if they (motorists) have the right of way.
“You have normal people crossing, school children crossing and nobody seems to understand that they need to cross with caution. They feel that they have the right of crossing in front of every other road user, they just walk and look at you defiantly…,” said the Magistrate.
However, according to an officer attached to the Vreed-en-Hoop Police Station, every effort is made to ensure that traffic is monitored and directed at the junction.
The officer said that as far as he is aware a rank is placed at the junction on each week day to aid a continuous flow of traffic. Despite this, the rank revealed that sometimes up to 09:00 hours in the morning traffic congestion is sustained in the vicinity of the junction thus the evident need for placing a rank to direct the traffic.
“Even when the traffic lights are working we still have that problem because what we have found is that some people just do not know to use this traffic light. It is different from the rest so it is a challenge to some people.”
The officer further noted that while the pedestrian crossing may also pose a problem for motorists, motorists are constantly warned to not proceed without the directive of a rank, who is more often than not, on duty. The pedestrian crossing, the officer added, was not painted by the police ranks.
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