Stricter penalties being examined for ticket fee defaulters – Min. Benn

The Ministry of Home Affairs will be engaging the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) to implement stricter penalties for road users who have not paid their ticketing fees.

Minister Robeson Benn said the move to introduce a robust framework of stringent penalties is necessary, especially since there is an urgent need to hold individuals accountable for traffic offenses.

He made the statement Monday during the launch of the 7th United Nations Global Road Safety Week, which is being observed from May 15 to 21 under the theme ‘Rethink Mobility’.

Minister of Home Affairs, Robeson Benn

“Many of them have a large number of tickets I believe accumulated for which they haven’t paid…I am going to enjoy a conversation with the Guyana Revenue Authority for persons after a certain number of tickets which haven’t been paid; we’ll not only suspend their licences but hold their vehicles,” Minister Benn disclosed.

The Guyana Police Force will be procuring an additional 300 wheel clamps to detain vehicles obstructing the flow of traffic.

Minister Benn interacting with students

Passengers are also being urged to speak out against errant drivers.

 “If we jump in the minibus, we are fearful to say you’re going too fast…we need to speak out some more and to stand our ground in relation to when we use public or private transport. We have to have the courage to speak out,” the home affairs minister emphasised.

He said the country must work towards bringing more awareness on the issue at all levels and has assured that his ministry will work harder to end road carnage.

“We have to get together on the issue to save lives and to avoid the distress, the deaths, the inability to work and provide for your family anymore…we cannot continue in this way,” he pointed out.
Meanwhile, Traffic Chief (ag) Superintendent Dennis Stephen revealed that in five years, some 147 pedestrians lost their lives, and another 11 persons have lost their lives while on electric bicycles, in two years.

Traffic Chief (ag) Dennis Stephen

From January 2023, a total of 16 cyclists inclusive of pillion riders lost their lives. The home affairs ministry has distributed 300 helmets to the Traffic Department to share to cyclists, to ensure their protection.

“I am imploring all road users to obey the rules of the road, look out for the vulnerable group, persons above age who cross the road slowly, drive within the safe speed limit, look out and observe,” the traffic chief urged.