It was just under a fortnight ago that I wrote an article lamenting the fact that our roads have become killing grounds with each passing day someone going through the agony of maim or even death.
Today we are again reminded of this morbidity with the recent passing of Dr Fox. Here I am again writing on the same topic hoping that something can be done by both police and public alike so that another road user’s life is spared.
Let me say that I am not in a position to apportion blame on anyone in the recent accident involving Dr Fox, who by the way, is a very good friend of mine, that is a matter for the driver of her vehicle to attest to, so I do not want what I am about to say to be taken out of context.
Now, it is the law of the road that when one hears the sound of a siren you pull aside and allow that vehicle the right of way. The customary practice in Guyana is to jostle for a better position, with the emergency vehicle on the main throughway. Another dangerous road infarction is the blatant disregard for traffic lights and pedestrian crossings.
The driver is required by law to come to a stop when in the vicinity of the red neon light signal or at the sight of a pedestrian at the crossing. What we normally see is an acceleration of speed in a haste to beat the light or vehicles still in motion, all in eager anticipation to go forward, no one wants to wait.
A pedestrian would certainly be risking harm to life or limb if he/she tries to set foot on the roadway, something that is considered normal and right in other jurisdictions in the Caribbean. It is only in Guyana, a pedestrian can be killed while he/she is on a pedestrian crossing and that pedestrian is branded the guilty one.
Speeding and driving under the influence are not considered chargeable traffic offences anymore; in fact, drivers are given the thumbs up for doing such things and getting away with it. A friend of mine recently showed me a driver who maimed a pedestrian whilst he was under the influence of alcohol, quite to my dismay instead of condemning the offending driver or at least wanting to see him behind bars he congratulated him referring to that driver as “he’s a bad man on the road when he has liquor in him”.
Not forgetting the overloading of minibuses and the loud, lewd deafening music coming from the boosters in their sound systems. When the music is loudest speeding is the resultant evil and we see the death and destruction this causes. So let us not fool
ourselves as to the lawlessness that is so pervasive on our roads, it is a sick, sad situation which must be dealt with urgently before another life is lost or ruined.
Firstly, the Police Traffic Department needs to deploy more traffic policemen on our roads to ensure that laws are obeyed and in the very many instances where there is a breach of these, charges must be made to send across a clear message that we would no longer tolerate this sort of behaviour.
Finally, an advice to my friend who is a representative sample of the attitude of some of the people out there, quit that foolish talk and let’s rid ourselves of this problem.
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