Sep 19, 2016 News
– Says road safety advocate
A day after attending the funeral of a little girl who was killed by an alleged speeding and drunk driver, road safety advocate Doris Anita Shelto is again appealing for drastic action to stop what she aptly calls “the bloodshed on our streets.”
And she wants those in charge to enact laws that will allow the authorities to not only punish drunk and reckless drivers, but also the passengers who sit quietly and even encourage such dangerous behavior.
The funeral Mrs. Shelto attended last Saturday was that of four-year-old Ambeka Providence, who was killed a week ago after a van driven by an alleged drunk 21-year-old, slammed into a car the child and family members were in on Sheriff Street.
Police said that a breathalyser test revealed that the driver had consumed above the legal limit of alcohol.
“Everybody was crying (at the funeral),” Mrs. Shelto said. “Every time I go to a funeral like that I am upset. Who feels it knows it. Sophia Sparkle group is making an appeal to the authorities to tackle the massacre on the roads.”
She’s appalled at the recent spate of road deaths in which many of the victims were children.
“This regular occurrence has placed some amount of uneasiness in persons that they are fearful to travel on our roadways. Some sit in public transportation and are afraid to speak out against the recklessness that continues to be a trend in our society.
“Several families continue to suffer in pain when their loved ones are taken away in the bloody slaughter on our roadways.
“I lost my sweet son to a reckless minibus driver. My heart is in pain to this day. Homestretch Avenue continues to be a race track. The Sophia Sparkle Youth Group wishes to address its disgust with the frequent bloodshed of our citizens on the roadways, and calls on all and sundry to tackle this situation which has been depleting our human resource countrywide.”
In July, 2011, Mrs. Shelto’s son, Peter Mc Clennon, and four other passengers were killed when a speeding and overcrowded mini-bus crashed on Homestretch Avenue.
The driver, Jermaine Jackson, was jailed for five years and suspended from driving for three years.
Mrs. Shelto has become a strong road safety advocate. She is the head of the Sophia Sparkle Youth Group and the Mother’s Action Group, both located in Sophia.
She is appalled at the recent surge in road deaths, and is contemplating staging yet another protest.
But this time around, she also wants to focus on the passengers who either sit silently in speeding vehicles or actually encourage drivers to act recklessly.
“From the Sophia Sparkle Youth Group’s perspective, commuters should face charges for allowing this to persist, since after an accident passengers are frequently overheard complaining about the speed after the act. The policy makers should implement such a mechanism that prosecutes commuters for not speaking out.
“On one occasion, traveling from East Coast Demerara/ Sophia route (in a speeding bus) one lady said ‘I don’t frighten…because I believe GOD gon carry me safe,’ and if you see how she holding on tight on the bus seat.”
“Any over-loaded bus, with drivers with beer in their hands, charge the commuters; all those passengers who are waiting until the bus crashes to complain how fast the bus was going, charge them along with the driver and conductor.”
“Commuters don’t have the knowledge of their own power. They put money into the pockets of these drivers.”
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