I TAKE this opportunity to pen this small missive to the police department and also to positive citizens of this country, Guyana. I am calling upon our citizens to report to the police, with photographs and videos, incidents of breach of the stopping procedures by bus drivers, specifically route 44 mini-buses plying the Mahaica/Georgetown route.
I have observed that these drivers have a tendency of stopping abruptly in the traffic lane to pick up passengers or drop them off without pulling closer to the curb or road shoulder, subsequently causing substantial delays to the other vehicles behind them. This annoying habit of theirs can also cause severe injuries to passengers embarking and disembarking from these mini-buses and, worse, could lead to death. This issue typically happens mainly between Mahaica and Sparendaam. From there, the mode switches from worst to better towards Georgetown.
Moreover, due to the improper stopping of these buses, the traffic stream decreases and forced lane changes increase. In other words, improper stopping causes vehicles to queue behind stopped buses and more often than not, forces unsafe overtaking of these buses. There is always a danger of entering the lane with the oncoming traffic in order to pass someone. Dangers such as: miscalculation of how much time you have to overtake the stopped minibus, or miscalculation of the speed you need to overtake them safely, or failure to see oncoming traffic either from road bends, sunshine, darkness, fog, etc.
Recently, I was travelling up the East Coast of Demerara, in the Unity area, where the exact thing occurred, whereby a young lady could have met her fatal demise if she was not cautious enough to avoid the apprehending danger. It was this incident, among others, that inspired me to pen this missive.
It is unfortunate that these mini-bus drivers fail to see the risks they are imposing on other drivers and passengers. They must understand that no person shall stop a vehicle in such a manner as to impede or render dangerous the use of our roadways by others. Failure to adhere to some of the rules that our roads allow may result in head-on collisions that could be fatal.
To overcome this irritant, I am of the opinion that the police should set drastic measures in place to deal with such breaches. Measures such as:
1. Passengers and the general population should be encouraged to report such instances with photos and videos through WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, or any medium where such can be easily and effectively communicated.
2. The vehicles can be hauled to the police station, so as to inconvenience the driver and conductor for an entire day, with traffic tickets being issued so as to deter reccurences.
3. The police can send off their press releases and mount serious patrols in the area in marked vehicles to create a fair tactic, and also unmarked vehicles to capture offenders.
In closing, respected editor, I wish to make it pellucid that I am a Guyanese who genuinely love my country. I have an eye for these things; things that could threaten human lives and circumstances on the highways, canals, drains, and rivers. I write these words not because I want to give mini-bus drivers a tough time, but because I hope for a Guyana where our roads will become much safer for all.
Hajji Dr. Roshan Khan Snr.