Georgetown; – In despite of the many traffic campaigns that the Guyana Police Force has launched in recent times with claims of successes, countries like the United Kingdom is definitely not buying into that success story.
So as part of their travel advice to its citizens regarding moving around in this country, the British Government has warned Britons not to use minibuses for travel anywhere in Guyana.
The advisory which can be viewed on the British Government website www.gov.uk, added that minibuses in Guyana are driven dangerously and are responsible for the majority of road accidents in this country.
Furthermore, the travel advice pressed on to say that minibuses are inevitably a major element in almost all major road accidents in Guyana.
They also warned British travelers not to flag down taxis on the roadways, and to only get into taxis that are operated by reputable companies. After all, taxis from reputable companies remain the safest way for travel here.
While the names of the reputable taxi services were not published in the advisory, a source at the UK Foreign Office suggested the names of three services to the Guyana Guardian, which has been considered as safe, but are not necessarily vouched for by the UK Government.
For years minibus drivers and conductors have continued to put Guyana’s road traffic safety improvement efforts to shame, with mini-bus related road deaths involving foreigners being among the highest in the Caribbean.
In Guyana, it is not unusual to see minibus drivers openly flouting the country’s traffic laws in various forms and fashions which sometimes involve them drinking and driving, to carrying almost double its licensed passenger count.
When confronted, minibus drivers are often uncooperative and rude to the many junior traffic ranks that may seeking to apprehend them.
In most cases, many law breaking drivers would have connections with senior police ranks who would usually ask the smaller ranks to stand down if there is an effort to arrest the law breaker.
In other cases, several policemen who owns minibuses and taxis, would naturally offer corrupt protection to their drivers (employees) each time they broke the law.
And even when a driver is charged, convictions are generally low or nonexistent in any case since the police would often fail to successfully make a case before a magistrate, or simply do not turn up in court to make their case.
On the other hand, Guyanese traffic police are often accused of bribe taking and corruption; – an accusation that has since transcended into a colossal burden on the back of the administration who are now in a repeated struggle to shake off that type of image.
It is said that a handful of other countries are also examining the continued state of affairs of public transportation in Guyana.
And while many has refused to comment, an official with close links to the Canadian Government, have also indicated that Canada have also warned its citizens to avoid using minibuses in Guyana; and has classified it as the most dangerous mode of public transportation here.
He said that the warning is already on the Canadian Government website here (under the safety and security tab).