Carnage on the roadways continues to mount

Mr. David Granger! Mr. Khemraj Ramjattan! You have to start taking away people’s Drivers Licenses!
The carnage on the roadways continues to mount. And there seems to be no abatement in sight. Many folks, especially visitors, returning Guyanese, or those from the rural areas, are morbidly afraid to drive on our roads. There is this sick and deadly notion that “If you can drive in Guyana, you can drive anywhere else in the world”. Given the prevalence of accidents and deaths on our roadways, the United Republican Party (URP) would like to proffer a few suggestions. For starters, we think that the police are still inclined to taking bribes from errant motorists and there is no end in sight for this behavior. This is learnt behavior. The current administration has been paying themselves some $300,000 extra per month. And their argument is that it they don’t pay themselves this exorbitant amount of money, they are likely to thief. So this additional hundreds of thousands of dollars is to reduce their likelihood of stealing.
The police officers (and the criminals, which matter we will address at another time), understand EXACTLY what the politicians mean. What the Granger administration means, is that if you are not properly awarded for your honest labor, it is likely that you will steal. So what we are seeing on the roadways is a largely lawless driving population, propelled and empowered by the notion that all it takes to continue in their dangerous was, is a bribe to any police who intercepts them.
And the police will take the bribe because the unethical precedent for subsidizing one’s income has been set by the new administration.
The URP would like to make the following recommendation in an effort to reduce traffic accidents. We are suggesting that a Drivers License point-system be immediately introduced. This is standard in all developed countries. The process is simple and effective. All Drivers Licenses are assigned 100 points. Comparatively, all traffic violations are assigned a negative (minus) point value.
For instance,
1. Driving past pedestrians while they are on the pedestrian crossing, – minus 30 points
2. Blowing your horn in a quiet zone, – minus 10 points
3. Driving while above the alcohol limit, – minus 70 points
4. Driving through a red light, – minus 30 points
5. Speeding in a congested area, – minus 20 points
6. Causing an accident while over the alcohol limit, – minus 80 points, etc.
Additionally, there should be cases where the law allows for a person’s Drivers License to be suspended or indeed, forfeited, for certain kinds of traffic violations, such as causing death while over the alcohol limit. Also, the drivers Licenses of repeat violators of the traffic laws, should be suspended or forfeited. Of course, a precipitous monetary penalty is attached to all the violations.
If the Honorable Minister Ramjattan and the Granger administration are indeed concerned about the loss of life and limb on the Guyana roadways, we should see the immediate implementation of some form of these suggestions.
What the URP and every Guyanese citizen know, however, is that we will not see any swift implementation of any drastic, commonsensical approach to road safety because many of the Mini busses (whose drivers are some of the worse perpetrators of road accidents), are owned by commissioned military officers and politicians, or people with political contacts. Police officers also depend on “bribes” to supplement their income. These are primarily the reasons for the systemic and endemic lawless road-culture.
However, if the Drivers License point-system is implemented and drivers become aware that they can lose their driving privileges, some of them will begin to drive with that realization in mind. And while some police officers will accept bribes and allow some drivers to flaunt the laws, there are other officers (thank God!), who will issue the citations and the deadly driving culture will gradually change for the better.
Notwithstanding or limited resources, the United Republican Party stands ready to assist the administration in the implementation of this worthwhile, commonsensical concept. We are offering our support in an effort of helping to save the lives of our fellow Guyanese and to assist in making driving on the Guyana roads more tolerable.