If you did not see the front page of last Sunday’s Kaieteur News, I invite you to take a look. There is quite a revealing photograph on display.
It was taken at the scene of an accident on Lombard Street. A minibus is parked with a dent on the lower left hand side of the front windscreen. In front of the bus, lying prostrate on the road is a man. He appears to be dead.
The wheels of the bus have been outlined in white to show its position after the accident.
But it is the white lines that form the outline of the prostrate man that catch the eye. His position has also been marked with white chalk.
Somebody no doubt assumed that the man was dead and therefore marked him out. Who knows, a call may have already have been put through the funeral parlour to pick up the man. As things turned out the man was not dead at all. Onlookers quickly pointed this out and the man was rushed to the hospital. Poor fellow was lucky.
The week has started badly for the traffic authorities because there have been some serious accidents, one of which was a fatality. The person that died was a young child. The accident occurred in Parika, a place that is supposed to eventually graduate towards secondary township status.
A photograph of the public road in the vicinity of where the child was struck down by a cyclist is a scene of disorder. There are huge trucks parked alongside the road with a cart parked next to one of the trucks. On the other side of the road can be seen vendors with their large umbrellas.
When the public road was being rehabilitated, the vendors were removed from alongside the road. They have returned, and one can understand now the dangers that pedestrians face on that particular strip, because with so many obstructions alongside the public road, there are bound to be accidents since visibility is going to be impaired because of the vehicles haphazardly parked on the side of the road and because of the vendors.
The man with the hammer needs to look back at these developments, because while it may be helping some people to make a hustle, this sort of thing is posing dangerous risks to drivers.
Outside of the New Amsterdam Hospital is another chaotic scene. There is a bend in the road at this location and no parking on both sides of the public road.
Yet on evenings when the police presence is slack it is known that some vehicles stop alongside the main public road in front of the hospital, even though there is a parking bay to the northern extremity of the hospital. There are also vendors’ stands outside of the hospital. These things need to be taken down and there needs to be strict enforcement of the parking and stopping.
A new habit also that is taking root in the country is the running of the traffic lights by motor vehicles. It seems as if some drivers no longer understand what the amber light stands for.
Some drivers as they approach a junction simply run the amber light, even though they can stop before the light changes to red.
But even more dangerous is that many vehicles are running the red light and thus posing a risk to other vehicles and to commuters.
Another disturbing trend is the growing practice of minibuses putting off passengers at points outside of the designated stop areas.
This is quite a brazen practice and needs to be reigned in, because it will contribute to the general disorder on our streets and by extension, the country.
A start has to be made somewhere and it is time that stern action is taken against those who flout the law by illegally vending on the road. It is time for the police to ensure that vehicles only put off passengers at designated stops, but is also important that those who use the roadways behave responsibly, for the roads to be cleared of all encumbrances, the traffic laws more effectively policed and yet there can be tragic accidents because of irresponsibility on the roadways.
AUBREY NORTON FRIGHTEN RENEGOTIATION AND RING-FENCING
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