The year 2016 has been one of challenges, as well as successes for the Guyana Police Force’s (GPF) Traffic Department.
Traffic Chief, Dion Moore
During a press conference today, at Traffic Headquarters, Eve Leary, it was disclosed that there was a 10 percent increase in the number of fatal accidents for the year 2016.
This was disclosed by Traffic Chief Dion Moore who noted that 2016 has been a tragic year for road users. The Traffic Chief noted that in 2016, there were 116 fatal accidents with 127 deaths, compared to 105 fatal accidents with 123 deaths for the corresponding period last year.
Pedestrians, Superintendent Moore said, continues to be the largest category of road users killed, with 32 deaths. Motor cyclists came in second with 23 deaths. For 2017, the Traffic Chief said there will be more emphasis placed on enforcing traffic laws for motor cyclists.
For the year 2016 a total of 42,349 drivers were charged for the following traffic violations:
23,934 for speeding
3,379 for driving under the influence of alcohol
1,701 for driving unlicenced
1,603 for driving while using cellphones
4,607 for driving with loud music
7,125 drivers for speeding
The Traffic Chief is of the view that enforcement of the traffic laws is critical to curbing the issue for dangerous driving. Moore pointed out that the launch of Operation Safeway saw a change of attitude of road users. Before its launch in September 2016, fatal accidents were up by a 33 percent increase.
Since the launch of Operation Safeway compared to the same period, Moore stated “we are at a 30 percent decrease in the amount of fatal accidents that would have occurred between last year and this year, 2.1 percent decrease in serious accidents, and a 23 percent decrease in minor accidents.” However, he did point out that there was an increase in vehicular damage accidents by 44 percent.
The Traffic Chief noted that with the success experienced with Operation Safeway, the campaign will continue in 2017.
Colvern Venture, City Engineer of the Mayor and City Council speaking at the press conference, said that a transportation committee has been set up to deal with road networking and congestion. According to Venture, there is an ongoing study in Georgetown by the Inter- American Development Bank (IDB) to create bus terminals, to reduce “the congestion that we currently have in the central business areas.”
Colvern Venture attached to the Mayor and City Council
The study is expected to be completed by March 2017 where major implementation will be made, some of which will need Cabinet’s approval.
Chairman of the Guyana National Road Safety Council (GNRSC) Dennis Pompey noted that the council has enjoyed a successful year. This was seen with the number of driving seminars which was held in various regions of the country and the launch of the Road Safety Booklet.
However, for 2017, Pompey pointed out that road safety councils will be set up in Bartica, Lethem, Essequibo and Mahdia. Also, in 2017, Pompey noted that the GNRSC will continue its efforts to achieve the United Nations Decade of Action Goal by the year 2020, to reduce road deaths by 50 percent.
“We are no way close to that, but we hope in 2017 we would able to make inroads into that and we would be able to at least reduce deaths by 20 percent for 2017,” the Chairman stated.