GTUC calls for review of traffic administration in wake of road tragedies

Stabroek News
March 13, 2000

In the wake of last Monday's tragic accident at Mon Repos which claimed the lives of 12 persons, the Guyana Trades Union Congress (GTUC) is calling for a thorough review of traffic administration in Guyana.

GTUC, in a press release, said "the police and the courts must initiate an immediate thorough and relentless campaign against rogue mini-bus drivers and others guilty of misuse of our roads. Penalties for traffic offences must be considerably stiffened and the police must bring a heightened level of integrity and effectiveness to their task of bringing a sense of order and discipline to use of the roads."

The union said for the second time in a few months, multiple deaths resulting from horrific road accidents have focused the public's attention on the "lawlessness which passes for road use in our country."

The GTUC said it shared "the pain which has been visited on the family and relatives of the victims" of the accident especially "over the loss of babies and young children whose nation-building potential will now never be realised."

The release said that the irresponsible use of our roads coupled with the woeful inadequacies of the existing regime of traffic administration have combined to render the use of our roads nightmarish."

The union questioned why a mini-bus packed to almost double the allowable capacity was able to travel between Rosignol and Mon Repos undetected by police patrols, passing several police stations in the process "on a day when returning traffic from the previous day's Mashramani festivities in Berbice ought to have witnessed a heightened police presence on the West Coast, Berbice and East Coast Demerara highways."

"In the final analysis," said the GTUC, "the problem of misuse of our roads and the consequences resulting therefrom are a microcosm of a wider problem of national indiscipline and an unmindfulness of the importance of adhering to rules and regulations. Alleviating the carnage on our roads must begin with the cultivation of higher standards of individual discipline and a collective mindfulness of the importance of a well-ordered society."