Acting Police Commissioner Clifton Hicken is concerned about the high number of accidents on the country’s roadways, describing the situation as alarming.
In a new effort to curb the lawlessness on the country’s roadways, a national ‘Respect the Road’ traffic campaign has been launched.
The Campaign will see several private sector organizations coming on board to help the Guyana Police Force Traffic Department modernize its architecture.
Mr. Hicken said the GPF realized that it does not have all the resources to curb the troubles on the country’s roadways, and will therefore be seeking as much outside help as necessary.
The National Road Safety Council, Impressions Inc and the Ministry of Home Affairs are also part of the campaign.
“We have an e-ticketing system, that we are developing, the Guyana Police Force we have partnered with GRA, and other agencies but importantly that is a work in progress. Also, our partners GTT and Digicel, we are working in close collaboration and not so long in the future we are going to be having sms telling when you are speeding and the e-ticketing system will work,” the Acting Top Cop said.
Mr. Hicken said, the traffic department has been giving out physical tickets for various traffic breaches but from indications, those tickets have not been yielding the desired results.
He said the E-ticketing system will fix those challenges and also act as a deterrent to drivers.
The Initiative to move full speed ahead to implement the e-ticketing system was a resolution of the just concluded police officers conference.
However, Mr. Hicken clarified that the introduction of the system, will still see traffic ranks performing their duties on the roadways as it is being done currently.
So far for the year, Mr. Hicken said the force has issued almost 4,000 traffic tickets.
“We have charged in excess of 2,000 persons and placed them before the court, is this working? Yes and no to some extent. So, we cannot work in isolation,” the Top Cop said.
Mr. Hicken said despite updated legislation with stiffer penalties, there has not been much changes. He said while some drivers are deterred from using the road in a reckless manner, it is business as usual for other drivers.
He said every day, some drivers use the roadway in a manner that has the potential to cause a tragedy.
“I believe together a nation we can make a difference and create safer roads for all road users, but before we can make a difference, we must understand the gravity of the situation. In Guyana, road accidents have increased by 30% in 2023 and 33% in fatalities when compared to 2022 more so, the World Health Organization has ranked Guyana as 63 in traffic accidents and deaths,” Hicken noted.
The Acting Top Cop said road accidents continue to pose a serious threat the lives and livelihoods of Guyanese families.