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GPF launches Road Safety Month in Reg 2 – Guyana Times

Police officers during the parade on Wednesday

In an effort to emphasize road safety as a crucial societal concern, the Guyana Police Force (GPF), in collaboration with the Guyana National Road Safety Council (GNRSC) and the Home Affairs Ministry (MoHA), on Wednesday launched National Road Safety Month in the Region 2 township of Anna Regina.
Under the theme “Road safety is not a slogan”, the launch saw a colourful road parade followed by poetry and dances that emphasized the profound effects that traffic deaths have on families and communities.
To promote awareness and education, GPF Traffic Chief, Senior Superintendent Mahendra Singh, called for engagements in bars, schools, and parking lots as part of a comprehensive outreach plan.

School children as they march in observance of Road Safety Month

Singh also emphasized the necessity of eliminating any complacency or compromise in the application of regulations, as he emphasised the critical role that enforcement plays in preserving the integrity of the road safety process.
As such, he urged those present to use the road properly in order that they and others can save lives, time, and money.

A dramatic poem done by students

He advised that since the Christmas season is approaching, people must take responsibility for their actions. He also cautioned that persons intending to drink should have a designated diver.
The Traffic Chief also admonished, “Every life lost is one too many; avoid speeding and drinking, and follow all traffic laws.”
During his feature presentation, Minister Robeson Benn emphasized that the collective responsibility resides not just within Government programmes, but also requires active participation from businesses and residents alike in maintaining road safety.
He stressed that road safety transcends individual concerns, and is in fact everyone’s concern. Benn detailed how road safety affects public health, societal well-being, economic stability, and transportation.

A section of the gathering on Wednesday at the launch at Anna Regina

“The statistics reveal that a significant portion of accidents – nearly 80% – are linked to speeding. However, this term encompasses various aspects beyond merely accelerating; such as alcohol misuse, distracted driving due to texting, smoking, or even listening to loud music while in public transport,” Minister Benn posited.
Further, he said, “We must pivot our focus on changing the behaviour of our youth beyond just delivering messages. The concern lies in how we can effectively shift their mindset and habits.”
Benn advised drivers to adhere to the rules of the road, and be cautious at all times. He noted that many of the lives lost in accidents are those of young people, who may have played a vital role in society.
In addition, he urged members of the public not to be hostile to law enforcement officers when they are carrying out their duties, roles, and functions. And Minister Benn urged traffic ranks/officers not to get involved in confrontations with members of the public.
National Road Safety Month is a significant step toward instilling behavioural changes, encouraging accountability, and eventually ensuring safer roads for all. This collaborative effort shows the critical need for a cultural transformation in views toward road usage, and the need for concerted action from all sectors of society.
Road safety is more than a catchphrase; it is a way of life.

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