THE Guyana Police Force’s Traffic Department has recorded a 15 per cent decrease in overall accidents for the year thus far, Traffic Chief Dion Moore has said.
Moore, who was at the time speaking at the department’s annual year-end press conference at the Traffic Headquarters, Eve Leary, Georgetown, said 89 fatal accidents resulting in 104 deaths have been recorded, compared to 115 fatal accidents and 126 deaths in 2016.
This represents a 23 per cent decrease in fatal accidents and 17 per cent decrease in deaths.
A total of 268 serious accidents were recorded in 2017 against 299 in 2016, representing a decrease of 10 per cent.
Minor accidents for this year stand at 376 compared to 409 in 2016, a decrease of eight per cent. Additionally, there were 598 damaged vehicles in 2017 compared to 737 in 2016, representing a decrease of 19 per cent.
The number of children killed on the roadways has also decreased significantly.
According to Moore, 12 children died in 2016, compared to only two in 2017.
However, 33 pedestrians head the list of road users to have died this year, followed by 20 motorcyclists and 18 occupants of private vehicles.
Speeding, texting and driving, as well as drinking and driving are the main contributors to road accidents.
To this end, Moore reported that for the year thus far, 26,792 drivers have been charged for speeding as against 25,690 in the year 2016.
A total of 2,589 drivers were charged for driving under the influence in 2017 against 2,401 in 2016. As it relates to persons operating vehicles while using their cellular phones, 1,623 were charged in 2017 compared to 1,501 in 2016.
The traffic chief called on persons to make safety a priority.
“The time has come for persons to be aware and be cognisant of the fact that their safety also depends upon them, not just on the police or other people; it is important for you to have that sense of responsibility,” he said.
While accidents decreased significantly, a drastic increase in the number of unlicensed drivers on the roadways was recorded.
For this year, a total of 1231 persons have been charged, while only 865 were charged in 2016. According to Moore, too many persons continue to use their private vehicles for hire despite being encouraged to acquire hire car licences.
For 2017, a total of 555 drivers were charged, while for the same period last year 391 were charged. The number of cases made against errant drivers for the year thus far amounts to 72,706 against 70,240 in 2016.
The traffic chief said that the Traffic Department continues to work towards reducing the number of road accidents, pointing out that there has been an increase in the use of radar guns, breathalysers and increased police patrols, especially at nights.
It was also pointed out that there has been an addition of 71 ranks within the Traffic Department, along with five motor cars and 35 motor cycles.