Pressure for responsible road use by heavy duty vehicles can come from the private sector itself

Irresponsible road use and the various negative consequences of the phenomenon, coupled with the failure of the authorities to match what now appears to be the most serious challenge ever to safety on our roads, has recently attracted a pointed public statement from the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry [GCCI], ‘calling out’ the authorities on what it sees as a heightened regime of lawlessness in the country’s road use culture and particularly “the inadequate management of road usage by heavy duty trucks.” What the GCCI says is its “deep consternation and outrage” regarding what it sees as “lack of action against reckless truck drivers” rightly point’s fingers at “the authorities” which one takes to mean the traffic management authorities.

 If it is true that the continued escalation of the problem is, in large measure, a function of a “lack of action against reckless truck drivers” by the competent authorities, the GCCI’s statement appears not to take account of the inherent responsibility of the vehicle operators to ‘regulate’ themselves and, as well, the need for contractors and owners of the vehicles to lay down protocols for road use by truck drivers given what is, in a season of building and re-building, an unprecedented and significant increase in the number of heavy-duty trucks scurrying around the capital and its environs at breakneck speed. Here, it should be said, that while there is no gainsaying the need for truck drivers to regulate themselves and the responsibility of the Police Traffic Department to rein in the delinquents, the business community itself, through the Chamber, could target the problem directly by engaging the truck owners, some of whom may well be members of one or another Business Support Organization (BSO) including, perhaps, the Chamber itself.

Conceivably, if the efforts of the Police Traffic Department were to be combined with road use protocols applied by the private sector groups and individuals who own and/or control these vehicles, there is likely to be a higher level of compliance with procedures that enhances the safety of the country’s road safety regime. Here, it should be noted that the private trucking services, some of which are in the employ of expatriate contractors executing contracts in Guyana, should also be targeted for directives with regard to the safe and prudent use of the country’s roads.  The point should be made that while the recent stated concern of the GCCI is altogether understandable, its current concern over what is a continually worsening culture of irresponsible road use amounts to a deterioration of what has, over the years, become an embedded practice of recklessness on our roads. The petro-driven ‘explosion’ of ‘development projects’ has merely stepped up the pace and intensity of the current ‘makeover’ regime.

Outside of its own altogether warranted pronouncement on the issue of aspects of the current road use regime, the GCCI can do much worse than attach itself and its advocacy to the pursuit of a robust, hands-on corrective regime.  

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