Once again a truck/minibus accident takes Guyanese lives, generating widespread calls, once again, for action. All Guyanese would no doubt share the grief of those who have lost their loved ones and are grateful for the lives that were spared.
Today, Monday, a couple of us went to De Edward to see one of those who miraculously survived, an employee of Ram & McRae. He and his parents confirm the reports in the press of the heroic work of the staff of the Mahaicony Hospital, work that deserves recognition from us all, work that is caring and heartening indeed.
Yet the tragedy appears not to have had even the most temporary of effect on the drivers using the road from Georgetown to Rosignol. As we journeyed both ways, I observed and made a note of the registration numbers of the vehicles that passed ours. Of the minibuses, trucks and cars that we encountered only one was anywhere close to the speed limit. I witnessed vehicles overtaking on double yellow lines, driving at a dangerous speed, vehicles without trafficators, and of course the ubiquitous roaming animals.
What I did not see in the entire journey beyond Sparendaam Police Station was a single police officer – traffic or otherwise. That was most disappointing on the day that the press carried a comment from the Commissioner of Police on the accident.
On our way up, I saw not a single warning against speeding and only a handful of notifications of the speed limits, all inconspicuously written.
After the succession of lives lost in road accidents and with no discernible action by the government and the police on issues like better regulation of minibuses, speeding, the granting of licences and certificates of fitness, highway patrols, better signs about speeding and speed limits, drunken driving, etc, it is hard to be optimistic.
Perhaps, however, this most recent accident will shock the authorities into action and something real and effective will be done.
I am not being facetious and am seriously asking the President to postpone his one-colour taxi plan and instead act to prevent further carnage on our roads.