Suggestions to improve traffic situation To the Editor
Guyana Chronicle
December 8, 2001

THE public consultations for the review of traffic laws are certainly welcomed. I would like to offer to the relevant authorities my "two cents" for consideration.

I recommend that a review be made on making the new highway a two-way traffic street. It defeats the purpose of lessening accidents. What I would suggest as an alternative is the two parallel roads be made one-way going either way. This would definitely lessen the congestion of traffic as well as the number of accidents that occur on our roads.

Road lights that work would be a great relief to all drivers. It would negate the need for drivers to use their high beams and the fancy additives such as fog lights. Driving with high beams is extremely dangerous for oncoming vehicle. It means that the driver is severely blinded and this is a serious traffic hazard.

The presence of horse and donkey carts on the road should be regularised. These pose a hindrance to drivers especially in heavy traffic areas and times. My suggestion is that they be limited to certain times in the day and only to certain streets. Driving a horse cart in the heavy downtown Georgetown traffic is certainly not appropriate.

Bicycles are a sore issue to me as a driver and short of recommending that they be banned from the roads totally, I would suggest that cyclists keep to the shoulder of the roads and only cross roads at designated areas for example a pedestrian crossing.

Speaking about pedestrian crossings, there is a need for more of these especially on Regent Street and other high traffic areas. A widespread sensitisation process on the usage of these crossings would be helpful to the wider Guyanese public, who are so resistant to changes or simply too hard-headed to do the right thing.

Mini buses are a phenomenon that deserves the attention of a thesis. There is need to regularise the mini buses on the roads, not only in the operations aspect but generally in the way they use the roads. Correct me if I am wrong, but it seems that mini bus drivers went to an entirely different driving school in comparison to other drivers. Their concepts of driving are far beyond rational. I recommend that in addition to alcohol tests, the police should carry out drug tests on some mini bus drivers.

There should be designated areas as mini bus stops. Unfortunately, we Guyanese are lazy and the use of bus stops is a concept that is foreign to us. However, for the sake of order and safety of our loved ones, I think that we should make the sacrifice and the extra exercise certainly would not hurt us. Of course the bus stops can be enhanced with a little shed to shelter folks from inclement weather. Specified speed limits (suggestion 40 kilometers an hour maximum) should also especially be applied to mini buses.

I also recommend that heavy vehicles such as trucks be limited to road usage to certain hours of the day or nights for example between the hours of 03:00 a.m. to 06:00 a.m. and then in the evenings perhaps 18:00 to 23:00 hours, especially on the East Bank Roads. This would reduce the traffic build-ups.

While I am not condoning speeding or reckless driving, parents should take wider responsibility in ensuring their children's safety on the roads. A young child should not be left to wander the streets alone. Drivers are being blamed for accidents, which I think some parents should take the responsibility for. A child stepping out from behind a parked vehicle and getting knocked down by a passing car is not entirely the driver's fault. That child has no reason being on the road without proper supervision.

Pedestrians have to use the roads in a responsible manner. Lots of time it is not the driver's fault in road accidents some of which are fatal. Unfortunately, the public outcry (especially from the media) points fingers at the drivers and often before the case hits the courts, the person has undergone public trial and sentencing based on emotions rather than the facts.

I do hope that the consultations would bear fruit and improve the traffic situation in this beautiful land.