Public Infrastructure Ministry to spend millions on road safety measures

GINA, GUYANA, Wednesday, January 25, 2017

In keeping with the Ministry of Public Infrastructure’s mandate to contribute to improved road safety, the Ministry will be heightening road safety measures this year. Works Services Group’s Coordinator, Geoffrey Vaughn said the Ministry is spending millions of dollars to place road safety signs and other measures across Guyana to ensure that the laws are observed and lives are saved.

Some of these signs that will be placed include the school zone, pedestrian crossings, no pedestrian crossing, no left turn, no right turn and no U turn among others.

School Zone Sign- one of the signs that the Ministry of Public Infrastructure will be placing on streets of Georgetown to provide information for drivers and pedestrians on public roadways.

“We’re putting the road safety signs out there, because we now want persons to understand that seeing the signs mean a lot; you must know that children are crossing the road and all of those signs, you must know that there are safety barriers on the roads, you must know the speed limits of the road, you must follow these things.”

In 2016 there was 10 per cent increase in the number of fatal accidents with 116 fatal accidents resulting in 127 deaths, compared to 105 fatal accidents with 123 deaths for 2015. Vaughn is urging drivers to adhere to the road signs, explaining that the Ministry will also be collaborating with the Guyana Police Force and the National Road Safety Council to reduce the number of road accidents and fatalities in Guyana.

He emphasises that, “drivers tend not to follow road signs and simply not following road signs is causing accidents to occur. We need to change our mindset, yes we can have a number of signs but without the individuals not able to change their minds when they use the road we will have a problems.”

Additionally, the Work Services Group Coordinator explained that there will be a massive road safety workshop in Georgetown after or during the month of May.  The three day workshop will be spearheaded by the International Federation for Roads (IRF) and would feature international stakeholders from IRF and their local counterparts to sensitise participants on safety measures.

Under the 2016 budgetary allocation, a number of significant projects were completed, including the construction of approximately 800 metres of pedestrian sidewalk in Corriverton and the installation of a total of 311 highway lights on the Corentyne Highway and on the Ogle, Mocha, and Diamond Housing Scheme access roads.

Works have also commenced on the construction of approximately 600 metres of pedestrian sidewalk on Vlissengen Road to Albert Street, on a section of Woolford Avenue, and the installation of 77 highway lights on the Number 19 Public Road and between Number 50 to 55 Villages, East Berbice, Corentyne.

Budget 2017 has provision of $607.1M for the continued implementation of road safety measures.

 

By: Ranetta La Fleur

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