-103 accidents, 112 deaths recorded despite COVID-19 curfew, measures
Since the beginning of 2020 to date, 112 persons have lost their lives as a result of road accidents throughout the country, an increase of over 40 % when compared to the same period last year (2019) despite a COVID-19 curfew and other restrictions in place.
This is according to the Coordinator of the Guyana National Road Safety Council (GNRSC), Ramona Doorgen, who at a press conference yesterday (Wednesday) disclosed that these deaths resulted from 103 accidents.
She explained that the increase is alarming since in 2019 during the same period there were 74 deaths from 70 accidents in the country.
Although National Road Safety Week is observed in the month of November, the GNRSC has embarked on an early awareness programme, in light of the steady increase in road fatalities this year.
“We all have a responsibility to play whether we walk, ride or drive. We have seen our deaths rising on our roadways and we want to call for a massive, sustained campaign. It must not be only for October or November.”
She also reiterated the importance of the need for enforcement by relevant authorities to ensure that the populace complies with road safety rules and regulations.
Meanwhile, Guyana’s Traffic Chief, Ramesh Ashram, who was also in attendance at the press conference pointed out that ranks of the Guyana Police Force (GPF) have commenced an initiative that will ensure that there are more ranks working at various intersections during peak hours.
He noted that police presence in those areas have resulted in drivers being forced to observe rules and laws.
According to Ashram, the move of placing more ranks on the roadways on the East Coast of Demerara (ECD) and the East Bank of Demerara (EBD) has resulted in a “great reduction of accidents, especially fatal ones,” while adding that certain engineering aspects of the road also lead to some accidents.
Meanwhile, Minister of Public Works, Juan Edghill, committed to his Government making provisions in the next National Budget to construct bicycle lanes in appropriate spaces that are available and additional traffic signs and signals.
“Government sees this as an important venture as there has been a 17% increase in pedestrian deaths in 2020 as was seen for the same period in 2019.”
He also strongly urged that persons desist from operating any vehicles while under the influence of alcohol and to discontinue speeding on the roadways.