Nov 24, 2020 News
Kaieteur News – Taking center stage at yesterday’s launch of National Road Safety Week was the issue of a 37% increase in road fatalities this year when compared to 2019.
This year’s national road safety week is observed under the theme “Stop Speeding, Don’t Drink and Drive, Stay Alive” and the launching took place at Parliament Park located on the corner of Brickdam and High Street, Georgetown.
During the feature address, Minister of Home Affairs Robeson Benn said that “we find ourselves in particularly tragic and alarming circumstances related to the great and accelerated loss of life due road accidents.”
The minister noted that according to statistics he received, there has been a 37% increase in road fatalities this year when compared to 2019.
Benn explained that this is quite alarming, because Guyana has had several lockdowns due to the Covid-19 pandemic. There is also a curfew in place which saw less vehicles travelling on the road.
Despite these measures, Benn noted that the death rate due to accidents has gone up alarmingly. The statistics, Benn said, showed too, that the most dangerous period to be on the road ways is between 18:00 hrs. and midnight. This is because majority of the road fatalities took place during period.
He also pointed out that motorcyclists and pedal cyclists accounted for a large number of all road deaths so far.
Benn added that the age group 25 to 42 years accounts for 60% of all road deaths and that the largest number of persons who die by gender are men.
He highlighted as well the cause of these fatalities ranges from absence of brakes, lights, casual use of the roadways, drunk drivers, drug users, etc.
Motorcyclists are known for riding without helmets, he continued.
In attempt to reduce the road fatalities Benn called for a campaign to be launched.
“There should be a campaign for pedestrians to avoid using dark clothing at nights,” said Benn.
He said “that there need for more police presence on the roadways during the period when most accidents occur (between 18:00 hrs. and midnight).”
The minister also revealed that his ministry has already bought 100 helmets which he himself would like to share out to errant road users particularly motorcyclists as part of a campaign to create awareness.
Benn said that he also asked for 50 more speed guns to be made available for traffic ranks.
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