The Guyana Police Force will soon roll out a new strategy, which will restrict drivers of motor lorries and container trucks from using roadways in Georgetown, East Bank Demerara, East Coast Demerara, West Bank Demerara and West Coast Demerara.
A release from the Force’s Public Relations Department stated that the restrictions will be between 07:00-09:00 hrs; 11:00-13:00 hrs, and 15:00-17:00 in order to ease traffic congestion during those hours, which are referred to as “peak hours.”
On Friday, Traffic Chief, Senior Superintendent Linden Isles and Traffic Officer Regional Division 4 ‘B’, Assistant Superintendent Jermaine Harper put forward the proposal to some of the owners and drivers of motor lorries/container trucks during a meeting at the Soesdyke Junction.
“The Traffic Chief said that one of the major causes of traffic congestion is the increasingly high volume of vehicles that are being imported and registered every year,” the release stated.
“He also said that the apparent inability of drivers to cope with overcrowded environments and overburdened infrastructure is indicative that our roadways are in a state of constant catastrophe and that the limitations of our roads force drivers to manoeuvre their vehicles of all classes, especially large motor lorries, in an often-dangerous manner to other road users.”
Additionally, the Traffic Chief stated that further engagements would be made with companies and businesses that operate these vehicles on a daily basis to apprise them of this new proposal.
The release noted that Section 48 (1) of the Motor Vehicle and Road Traffic Act (MVRTA) Chapter 51:02 states that “the Commissioner of Police
may, with the approval of the Minister, make orders for any of the following purposes”: –
a) The specification of the routes to be followed by motor or other vehicles.
b) The prohibition or restriction of the use of specified roads by motor or other vehicles of any specified class or description, generally or during particular hours.
c) The prohibition of the driving of vehicles on any specified road otherwise than in a specific direction.
In January, Kaieteur News had reported that officials were making plans to establish weight control bridges at strategic points along the East Bank of Demerara between Timehri and Grove.
This is because over-laden trucks are causing significant damage to the roadways.
This was said to be the start of a countrywide plan to address the issue of overweight vehicles.
As far back as 2015, the Ministry of Public Infrastructure sent proposals to the Legal Affairs Ministry to explore new legislation that will among other things increase the current fines for overweight vehicles utilising the roads.
Other proposals from the study suggest that if a weighing station is deliberately bypassed, an additional punitive fee may be imposed while the liability for paying an overloading fee is placed on the owner and operator of the vehicle.
It was also proposed that if a vehicle was not under the control of the owner/operator when it was loaded, the consignor can be held liable for the fee under certain circumstances.
Once it was determined that a vehicle is overloaded, IMC recommended that the vehicle may not proceed with its journey until the overload has been offloaded or readjusted to within legal limits and the overloading fee has been paid.
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