Seatbelt law should be reinforced To the Editor
Guyana Chronicle
January 16, 2002

My sincere condolence goes out to the grieving families and loved ones of the students who died in the recent "Greenwich Park Traffic Accident".

It is indeed a sad thing when a life is lost prematurely, especially that of a young person. That being said, this accident highlights the need to aggressively enforce the seatbelt law. Considering the survivors account, I am confident that had those students been buckled up, more lives would have been saved.

It should be the responsibility of Drivers and Conductors to ensure that all front seat passengers are buckled up while the vehicle is in motion. The passengers occupying the front seats are more likely to be ejected through the window should the vehicle come into an impact.

Seatbelt laws should be reinforced in schools by teachers and must be followed up by the Traffic Police Officers. Ultimately however, we as road users share equal responsibility for our safety. It should not be the complete role of the Police or Drivers to see that we buckle up. As harsh as it may sound, the students involved in this accident were old enough (teenagers) to know that they should've been wearing their seatbelts. Consequently, the driver should not be made into a scapegoat in this matter.

Instead of finding someone to blame, let's implement prevention for the future and learn from this terrible tragedy.
Berkeley Van Bowen
International Human Rights Watch