“Misuse & Abuse of Police Vehicles Must Stop”- Traffic Chief
“Misuse & Abuse of Police Vehicles Must Stop” warns Traffic Chief Linden Isles at a special seminar held for Force Drivers’ drawn from the 10 Regional Divisions inclusive of Headquarters, on Saturday November 2, 2019 at the Officers’ Training Centre, Eve Leary.
The seminar was in keeping with His Excellency, President David Granger’s call for a thorough assessment of how the fatal accident which occurred at Friendship East Bank Demerara involving a police vehicle with siren and private car driven by a soilder occurred and how to prevent a reoccurrence.
Mr. Isles instructed the Drivers that siren must be used only in cases of emergency and not for ordinary duties or simply traversing as abuse may cause the public to become dismissive. Reports of police abusing sirens and forcing other drivers off the roadways are common, this he said must cease immediately, as Force Drivers’ are to adhere to speed limits and remain in their respective lane, even while performing escort duties.
Speed is the leading cause of road fatalities in the Country, but yet still, police are always speeding which he attributed to usual lateness and reminded the drivers that they are required to report 15 minutes before the actual time of duty and in doing so there would be no need for speed. In some exceptional cases, he advised that it is better to arrive late, than not at all. “Police are not above the law, he cautioned, speed limits are erected throughout the country and Force Drivers’ must set the example for the public to follow.”
He posited that the seminar seeks to caution them about what is expected of them as Force Drivers’ and that despite all Force Drivers’ may not be errant, the members of the Force are not viewed as individuals therefore, they all have to work collectively to safeguard the image of the Force. He also revealed that the Force is currently developing new and advance driving programs to enhance ranks skill in areas of remedial, tactical and escort driving; police drivers’ will operate as defensive drivers, drivers who are found to be inadequate will be reassigned.
Taking control of the little things will prevent escalations, Mr. Isles advised when speaking on the issue of traffic breaches being committed in view of police patrols and ranks on or off duty where no action is being taken. “I receive reports of ‘blue lights’ and we have patrols on the roads, they don’t see ‘blue lights’? That’s a violation, you don’t have to be a traffic rank or on duty to take action…” ranks who are culpable will be charged for neglect of duty, he cautioned. Many of the ranks themselves are guilty of such breaches, hence their unwillingness to take action. He urged, that they take back the power they have given to the public by complying with the law, “rectify whatever breaches you have on your private vehicles and if you need to use tint, it should be in keeping with the law…” so that they will not be hesitant to enforce the law in the face of breaches.
Additionally, ranks were reminded of the importance of using Vehicle Logbooks to record their movement when using Force vehicles, and any defects to ensure adequate maintenance of the vehicle. They were also informed of the Administration’s intention to creating a Best Driver Award for Force Drivers’ as the incentive will help to motivate them to drive more responsible.
The seminar was timely and interactive, many of the ranks took the opprotunity to gain clarity from the Chief on issues they have encountered as Force Drivers’. Traffic Chief Linden Isles will be hold a Seminar of a similar nature with drivers of emergency vehicles aside from the Police Force to inform them of the new posture going forward when operating such vehicles on the Country’s roadways.