Increased funding to road safety council to curb road fatalities
Government in its effort to curb road accidents has increased the financial resources given to the Guyana National Road Safety Council from $3 million to over $11 million.
In 2021, the Guyana Police Force recorded a 30 percent decrease in fatal accidents and government is hopeful that the increase in financial support can further reduce road fatalities.
Minister of Home Affairs, Robeson Benn, M.P, made the disclosure as he addressed the National Road Safety Stakeholders Forum on Friday.
“I want us to partner together with the national council to find the best ways of using this money, of reinvigorating the effort in respect to road safety,” Minister Benn stated.
The forum was used to engage stakeholders to develop a comprehensive plan of action to reduce traffic accidents and deaths by 50 percent by 2030 and a plan that would guide the council for the next five years.
Minister Benn said the stakeholders now have the challenge to make an improvement in the numbers. He said stakeholders are aware of the gaps and the issues as it relates to safety. Added to that, the Minister pointed out that there is an influx of vehicles in the country which the road ways were not built to accommodate.
“The PPP/C government under the vigorous urging of President, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali is working at improving the infrastructure with the kind of response and with the kind of design suggested in relation to accommodating the traffic and making sure that everything and everyone moves along safely and at a rate and speed which will level up with what is needed to develop our economy and our country.”
Minister Benn also called for the change in behaviour of road users so that the financial responses could be redirected to other areas of development. He said a change in culture in the way public transportation operates must be in line with the development that is ongoing in the country.
Chief Traffic Officer, Senior Superintendent Ramesh Ashram reminded that road safety is everyone’s business and an everyday practice. He said driving under the influence, careless use of the roads by pedestrians, speeding and motor cyclists not wearing helmets remain the main causes of fatal accidents.