`Guvnor' likely to be deployed against speed merchants

Guyana Chronicle
July 21, 2000

CABINET has mandated Home Affairs Minister Ronald Gajraj to look at urgently introducing a mechanical device, among other measures, to check excessive speeding by vehicles, especially those in the public transportation system.

The `guvnor', a device installed under the accelerator of some mini-buses and other vehicles to prevent them going over a certain speed, is being considered.

President Bharrat Jagdeo announced earlier this month that putting a "mechanical device within the vehicles to prevent speeding" was a main suggestion he was considering in the fresh campaign to halt mounting road deaths.

Speeding has been blamed for many fatal road crashes and some advocates have for years suggested installing a `guvnor' particularly in mini-buses.

The Information Ministry yesterday said Cabinet Wednesday asked Gajraj to take the necessary steps to prevent vehicles, especially those in public transportation, driving at excessive speed.

Measures will include "any appropriate mechanical device", the ministry said.

It said Cabinet "emphasised the urgency with which this matter is to be dealt with" and the Home Affairs Minister is expected to present a report within two weeks.

Cabinet has also directed Gajraj to head a committee to immediately address short, medium and long-term measures to deal with the traffic situation.

The ministry said he is to report the findings and recommendations for appropriate action, including enacting legislation, to Cabinet.

President Jagdeo, expressing sympathies to the relatives of 12 persons who died in two road accidents earlier this month, signalled a tough new campaign to help curb road deaths.

"...I intend to address this issue in the harshest possible terms, possibly through legislative measures," he told a news conference in Georgetown on July 7.

He said he was discussing with the authorities responsible "the need to take a tougher attitude to the situation on our roads".

"It's a tragedy...we have a situation where there is irresponsible behaviour", he said, noting reports of corruption in the system where people can buy driver's licences.

"There's a lack of responsibility in many regards", the President bemoaned.

Follow the goings-on in Guyana
in Guyana Today