‘Operation Safeway’ came into force today, with the intention to make a concerted effort to bring about increased road safety awareness to the general public and particularly motor vehicle drivers.
Minister of State, Mr. Joseph Harmon.
The operation is a joint effort of the Guyana Police Force (GPF), the Ministry of Public Infrastructure and the National Road Safety Council (NRSC) and it is aimed at bringing about an end to road accidents, as well as to ensure that drivers of motor vehicles adhere to the traffic laws.
The operation will see traffic ranks on the road conducting rigid exercises throughout the country, but more especially in Georgetown, and on the East Bank and East Coast Demerara. There will be an increase in traffic patrols both day and night, and the re-introduction of spotting exercises. There will also be an increase in the deployment of ranks in hot spots for accidents, and frequent use of radar guns to target speeding drivers along with random breathalyser testing.
Minister of State, Joseph Harmon at a post-Cabinet media briefing today, said the decision to launch this operation was taken in light of the increased number of fatal accidents on the country’s roadways. There have been 96 deaths for 2016 thus far as compared to 90 for the same period in 2015. The GPF noted that most of these fatal accidents occur on weekends, in the evening hours.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo in a statement said that he is saddened by these tragic deaths. “Every Guyanese needs to arrive home alive. We all need to slow down. There is no place for drunkards behind the wheel. I support sanctions against persons charged with serious traffic offences, especially when they cause injury or death while under the influence of alcohol.”
The Prime Minister added that, “President David Granger, and I, along with the entire Cabinet appeal to drivers, cyclists, pedestrians and all road users to exercise extra care and attentiveness while using our roads.”
Police Commissioner (ag.) David Ramnarine at the launch of Operation Safeway on Wednesday, stated that the rate at which people are killed on the country’s roadway is unacceptable, disturbing and very much of concern especially since Guyana is a small developing country.
Cabinet has expressed its support for this initiative taken by the GPF to address road accidents, and urges the general public to cooperate with the police to bring about a change in the situation.