Traffic Police must back up the laws
Guyana Chronicle
November 17, 2001

IT IS refreshing that the Police Traffic Department and the Ministry of Home Affairs are working towards bringing our traffic laws in line to match lawlessness on the roads.

Ours is too small a population to accept the road death figures which grow by alarming proportions year after year.

While it is good to legislate stern traffic laws, the effort should not stop there, for the laws by themselves would mean nothing if mechanisms are not put in place to see that they are effectively implemented.

The laws cannot stand aside from the social changes around.

We must all understand (both the lawmakers and civil society) that laws are implemented for the good of society and must be enforced without fear or favour.

We should strive towards making the safety of people on the roads the highest law. Salus populi suprema lex esto (the people's safety is the supreme law).

We believe that if everyone subscribe to this, there could be a remarkable reduction in road deaths and traffic accidents on the whole.

Far too often, too many people are maimed (in some cases for life), disfigured or killed on our roads.

There have been numerous complaints from the Police Traffic Department over the years about the shortage of vehicles and equipment to fight the menace, but while vehicles and equipment have been forthcoming, there seems to be no end to the carnage on the roads.

Many people believe that there should be a complete overhaul of the traffic laws to keep abreast with the current environment and behavioural patterns.

New systems should be introduced in the issuance of drivers' licences. We believe that this is where it all starts, for many who could hardly read or write are holders of valid drivers' licences.

If the current system for the issuance of the licences is good, then something may be terribly wrong with its administration.

We feel that the breathalyser should be introduced to deal with those many drivers who drive under the influence of alcohol.

Traffic cops should not wait until these drivers are involved in accidents to determine whether they were driving under the influence of alcohol.

The traffic cops have to be alert and some of them who are in the habit of accepting bribes should desist from doing so.

Many people advocate that when caught drunken drivers should be jailed forthwith and have their licences taken away or suspended.

We feel that with immediate effect, no driver's licence should be issued to anyone if he or she has not attended and graduated from a recognised driving school and recommended for the test by the instructors.

There should be I.Q. tests for drivers every three or five years and every driver who would have reached 40 or 45 years should have his sight and hearing tested regularly with adequate proof.

We subscribe to the implementation of more and new stiffer traffic laws as long as the traffic cops execute their duties professionally, asking for no quarter and giving none.