Enforce existing traffic laws before making new ones
Stabroek News
January 28, 2002

Dear Editor,

The minister is trying to bring in a new law - wearing of seat belts. Wonderful, let us copy the metropolitan countries. Here is a scenario. The minibus has twelve passengers. It is speeding at ninety mph, a tyre blows out - all the passengers are wearing their seatbelts as laid down by law. The minibus heads for the trench. There is a mad scramble to get out. They can't, they are tied by the seat belt. How many lives are lost?

The police cannot control the boom boxes, the noise nuisance from discos and bars, the cyclists riding down one way streets, riding without brakes, bells, reflectors and mudguards. The minibuses in full view of the police at the bus parks, overload their vehicles.

The minibuses drive down Brickdam in front of the Brickdam police station with booming noise boxes. To some noise is a way of life. Can the Minister change these attitudes?

These are the things which the minister should be trying to put right before making another law. At the moment, many of the existing laws are not being enforced. That must be changed or new laws are pointless. The courts are also a problem with erratic sentencing.

Of course we must not forget the latest status symbol - the cell phone. In advanced countries where road safety is paramount, persons cannot use cell phones while driving etc. Here in Guyana if you don't have a cell phone pasted to you while walking or driving - you are nobody.

Make a law now prohibiting the use of cell phones while in charge of any vehicle. See that the police prosecute any driver of a vehicle, private or otherwise, who creates a noise nuisance. Again, in advanced countries (UK) the police give one warning and if they return and find that the person continues to infringe the law, the equipment is seized whether in a house or else. Has this ever been done here?

Yours faithfully,

Dalip Singh