Overtaking recklessly cause of most West Berbice accidents
– Traffic Police

Guyana Chronicle
November 30, 2006

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DRIVERS of vehicles overtaking others recklessly is the main cause of accidents in which people have been killed or seriously injured on the West Berbice highway this year, traffic Police reported.

They said pedestrians continued to be the majority of victims among road users.

According to the statistics disclosed, instances in which single vehicles run off the roadway and hit lamp posts and bridges before ditching are the next in line of major killers.

But motor cars have taken the lead from mini- buses in fatal and non-fatal accidents.

The Police said collisions involving vehicles and stray animals account for some 30 per cent of the mishaps, to date.

However, hardly any accidents happen after 20:00 h. Most generally occur at weekends and some of them are alcohol related, a senior official stated.

He said 75 accidents occurred on the route, so far, compared with 106 for the same period last year.

Seven of the 2006 accidents resulted in fatalities as against 11 for the corresponding 2005 period.

Twelve persons died in seven 2006 accidents and 13 succumbed from the same number in 2005.

The Police figures represent a 30 per cent decrease in comparison to the 37 per cent in accidents last year but the fatalities number almost the same.

“Many fatal accidents occurred when drivers attempted to overtake other vehicles without a clear view of oncoming traffic or by making errors in judgement,” the official insisted.

He said the mistake to overtake when nearing a bend has resulted in deaths and serious injuries to several commuters.

“Fatalities and accompanying pain and sorrow could have been avoided if the overtaking driver had adhered to two Cs - caution and commonsense - or maybe even if the driver being overtaken had heeded another C (consideration) and slowed a bit to allow the other to pass,” the official explained.

He said the West Berbice highway would be safer if more drivers excercise greater caution while overtaking or attempting to overtake.

Many of the pedestrians killed, too, had underestimated the speed of approaching vehicles and were hit while crossing the road, he stated.

Daily monitoring of traffic on the highway and escorting vehicles from Rosignol to Abary at peak periods are some steps being taken by West Berbice Police to heighten road safety.

Yet the success of such efforts hinges on the cooperation and collaboration of all categories of road users on because Police cannot be everywhere at the same time, the officer said.

He reiterated the importance of the five Cs -- care, caution, courtesy, commonsense and consideration.

“Accidents will occur from time to time but the frequency can be greatly reduced if drivers adhere to them,” he maintained.

Road Safety Week 2006 is being observed under the theme ‘Working in partnership for a safer road every day.’