TUC urges relentless campaign against rogue mini-bus drivers

Guyana Chronicle
March 9, 2000

THE Trades Union Congress (TUC) is calling for a thorough review of current traffic laws in the wake of Monday's carnage as a result of reckless driving.

It is also pushing for the Police and the courts to launch immediately a thorough and relentless campaign against rogue mini-bus drivers and others guilty of misusing the roads.

In addition to advocating stiffer penalties for traffic violations, the TUC in a statement yesterday said it is the responsibility of the Police to bring a heightened level of integrity and effectiveness to their task of preserving a sense of order and discipline to the use of the roads.

With specific reference to Monday's accident in which 12 persons died, the TUC said that while responsibility for adherence to traffic regulations ultimately rests with road-users, valid questions have arisen about how a mini-bus packed to almost double the allowable capacity was able to travel between Rosignol, West Berbice and Mon Repos, East Coast Demerara undetected by Police patrols.

It noted that this was on a day when the outbound traffic from the previous day's Mashramani (Republic anniversary) festivities in Berbice ought to have witnessed a heightened Police presence on the West Coast Berbice and East Coast Demerara highways.

Noting this was the second time in months that multiple deaths as a result of horrific road accidents have caused the nation to focus its collective attention on the lawlessness which passes for road use in the country, the TUC said it shares the pain which has been visited upon the families and relatives of the victims of Monday's tragedy.

While it mourns the loss of all the victims, the labour group said it feels a special sense of anguish over the loss of babies and young children whose nation building potential will now never be realised.

Twenty-eight passengers were in the 15-seat mini-bus when it crashed into a truck laden with sand.

Five persons, including an 18-month-old baby, died on the spot, five on the way to the Georgetown Hospital and two at the institution.

Of the 16 injured, one was treated and sent home and the others hospitalised.