The more this paper hears, the more there is much to be found about Traffic Chief Linden Isles and his ongoing efforts to get things on the right track relative to road usage in Guyana.
As is well known by now, and many times in the most horrendous of circumstances, the roads in Guyana can be a battlefield. Truth be told, at times, it has deteriorated to a virtual killing field, and that is not an overstatement.
Clearly, Traffic Chief Isles’ heart is in the right place, and his visions firmly focused on doing what is right and safe for the travelling Guyanese public, be they drivers (of every type) and pedestrians, wherever they may be, and whenever they use our roadways. Following the horror story from the Friendship accident, where lives were recklessly lost, official police drivers were targeted, with procedures being tightened and errant men (mainly men) called to task for breaches. That is good, positive, and long overdue, given what has been observed of such official drivers: the haste, the dangerous disregard for life and limb and property, and the overweening arrogance that had long characterized conduct allowed to run rampant, until it became the norm.
But the Traffic Chief has already moved forward and is now aiming at another category of what he called “sacred cows.” To be accurate, Chief Isles could not have been clearer and more adamant: As carried by KN, the Chief had this to say: “Those who drive buses owned by police ranks will not be exempt from the law.” And even more pointedly, Mr. Isles had this to say: he is ready and interested in taking reports from the public himself, where there is hesitancy or fear by members of the public to come forward and lodge complaints (KN December 27). Chief Isles has given this personal assurance to this effect and, obviously, the man means business.
As quoted by KN in the same December 27 story, the Traffic Chief said, “The whole situation is an attitude situation, and if persons don’t change their attitudes, then we will continue to have these accidents.” Chief Isles has a very good point there, as the whole set of traffic circumstances in Guyana originates in, revolves around, and is powered by attitude. That is a real terrible attitude.
From the perspective of this paper, the whole attitude problem, attitude outlook, and attitude culture goes like this: we can get away with breaking the law, we can do so with impunity, and we have the record to show it. In other words, the law does not apply to us, and if one man (or woman) embraces such a mindset, then it is not too long before others, determined not to be left behind, jump on the bandwagon of recklessness and mayhem, joining the tsunami of terror that has become characteristic of local roads.
Any objective and honest observation of the way we use the limited space of our roads -a space made more limited by the continuing influx of vehicles – relays a tale of attitudes run amok and permitted to flourish unchecked. This is said, because when the people entrusted to uphold the law, and extend its reach to a maximum effect, are themselves involved with a vested interest (vehicle ownership), or compromised through corrupt practices, then there is not much left on which to cling, or which offers some safe harbour from the storms that roar and rage on our roads with breathtaking abandon.
First, the Traffic Chief directed his sights at professional police drivers: follow procedures, do the job right, and give self a cushion of time, so there is scant need to be racing along the roadways while needlessly endangering others, who just may happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Now, he has signaled his intentions of going after buses owned by officers, which by virtue of that fact, are given a free pass, and allowed to get away with the felonious.
As becomes clearer by the day, Traffic Chief Isles is serious. From all appearances, he is determined to get matters right under his watch. With a mindset like that, this paper could only wish him the best.
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