NRSC wants stricter penalties for repeat traffic offenders

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana
Overhead view of traffic on the East Bank of Demerara

Despite increased enforcement and educational efforts, National Road Safety Council (NRSC) Chairman Earl Lambert has expressed serious concerns over motorists’ continued violation of traffic laws.

During the Police programme “Police and You”, Lambert emphasised the need for stricter penalties, including the suspension of driver’s licences, to underscore the seriousness of traffic violations.

He highlighted that despite the Police and the Council’s continuous efforts to enhance road safety through education campaigns and increased law enforcement presence, many drivers still flout traffic regulations.

“It’s amazing that we keep preaching one thing, that we keep talking about the five C’s, but, when you look at the way accidents occur, you realise that persons are not paying attention to the way they should be using the road… it is something I feel is ‘being selfish’. It’s about caring about yourself, and not caring about others,” Lambert declared.

To combat this ongoing issue, Lambert proposed a more stringent approach: suspending the licences of repeat offenders. He argued that this measure would serve as a powerful deterrent.

He said once a motorist receives multiple tickets, they should be informed by Police Officers about the number of violations remaining before their licence would be suspended. This transparency, he believes, will drive home the gravity of their infractions and encourage more responsible behaviour from drivers on the roads.

“You cannot carry a horse to drink water and make that horse drink it… once the person’s licence is suspended, they will have to go back through training so that they can learn how they should use the road. If that system starts, we will be sending a message,” he declared.

Lambert also revealed that the Road Safety Council was actively lobbying authorities to implement this policy.

“We are going to canvas the authorities to make sure that it is in the book already. It’s just that it is not being enforced, and we need for that to be enforced, so that it [serves as a] deterrent to those who are using the roads, especially the drivers, that there is something that can cause you to lose your licences,” Lambert said.

The Chairman’s call to action reflects a growing concern over traffic law compliance and the impact of reckless driving on public safety. By pushing for the strict enforcement of existing laws, Lambert hopes to reduce the frequency of traffic accidents and save lives.

“The message is simple,” Lambert concluded. “If you break the law repeatedly, you will face serious consequences. We are committed to making our roads safer for everyone, and that starts with ensuring that all drivers adhere to the rules.”

As the Road Safety Council continues its campaign, motorists are urged to take heed of these warnings and contribute to a safer driving environment by following traffic regulations.

Despite the challenges, Guyana has seen a decline in both fatal accidents and traffic deaths this year, according to the Guyana Police Force (GPF). Between January 1 and May 14, there were 78 fatal accidents, down from 84 during the same period in 2023, with fatalities decreasing from 95 to 91.

This improvement in road safety is attributed to collaborative efforts among various stakeholders. However, this news came just days after six persons died in a head-on collision at Long Creek, Linden-Soesdyke Highway.