Georgetown, Guyana: – In response to a public call for the Guyana Police Force to enforce the road traffic regulations so as to bring an end to the drastic increase in road deaths and other traffic issues, a no nonsense traffic campaign entitle “operation safe way” was launched.
Upon its launch, the police force had committed the organization to bring all traffic lawlessness to an end, and to see road deaths significantly reduced.
So at the end of the first week, everything seemed fine, as the police published some numbers which seem to suggest that there was an increase in issued tickets and charges against errant motorists.
But after more than two weeks of the sustained traffic campaign, a Guyana Guardian investigation has shown that the police have so far failed to actually bring the current state of the country’s traffic lawlessness under control.
From an embarrassing increase in road accidents during the traffic campaign period to an evidently increase number of unlawfully tinted vehicles; to drivers and conductors openly consuming alcohol while operating, the list of traffic infractions has showed no signs of abating.
For example, a month prior to the campaign, road deaths were at an average of one per week, but after the launch of “Operation Safe Way” the weekly road fatality numbers have doubled.
There is also an evident increase in the number of tinted vehicles that are traversing the roadways with darkened tints on their windscreens.
Two usually reliable persons who are employed with tints shops in the city and on the East Coast have also told the Guyana Guardian that there has been an increase in newly registered vehicles coming into the tint shops to have their front windscreens an all windows darkened.
While they are not sure whether the increase is a mere coincidence, it has nonetheless showed that the average motorists seem not to have any respect for the law or the police.
A few junior traffic ranks have seemingly agreed with this notion, when they were approached by the Guardian.
They argued that in most cases whenever they apprehend a driver for any minor traffic infraction, the driver or passenger would usually make a call and use their “big bai” contacts to avert prosecution or issuance of a ticket.
And in almost all cases the smaller ranks have to comply with the request to forego prosecution since the instructions not to prosecute will often come from a senior officer. And it is only logical that their promotion can be stymied or their job can be made difficult if they refuse to carry out the instructions of a senior cop, even if those instructions are contrary to law.
With an evident increase in the number of vehicles on the roadways, the police has been struggling and stretching it’s manpower to its limits to curtail the increase in road traffic violations.