Traffic education an important part of reform
Stabroek News
January 27, 2002

Dear Editor,

Once again the Hon. Minister of Home Affairs is in the news fast tracking traffic laws in the National Assembly.

New legislation will be introduced for the use of mandatory seat belts in vehicles. What the Minister did not mention is whether these laws are for public transportation only eg. hire cars, mini buses. If that is the case Minister should reconsider because all categories of motor vehicles are involved in traffic accidents. To install seat belts in mini buses would pose a problem because seat belts have to be attached firmly to the frame of the vehicle and to the seat; so all of the mini buses would have to change these seats for types that are used on aircraft.

Who would pay for the seats and where in Guyana are these seats available, not to mention that 15 seat mini buses would have to carry only 13 persons, because the flap seats cannot have seat belts so we would have to abandon these seats. Only time will tell whether the law will help to reduce or stop traffic carnage on our roadways.

I would like to bring to the Minister's attention that all the roadways in Guyana except Linden Highway run parallel to two canals or trenches, some are deep and some are shallow. If a driver should take evasive action to avoid an accident and end up in a canal, you can imagine how many people would die from drowning because they are strapped to the seats and cannot move, thus increasing the traffic deaths not reducing them.

To reduce death on our roadways the police traffic department should shoulder the responsibility for providing a safer road culture, and enforce the laws on all categories of road users. Animal drawn vehicles which do not stop at major roads or traffic lights use our roadways with no regard for anyone, cyclists and pedestrians act as if they own our roadways. Our children should be taught to use the road wisely, what we need at this time is to educate everyone how to use our roadways and to make Guyana a safer place to live.

Yours faithfully,

B.A. Khan for

Compton Giddings, PRO

Guyana Public Transportation Association