CrimeNews

72-hrs detention of drivers for accidents caused by pedestrians not necessary- Traffic Chief

A man washes brain matters and blood from the West Bank Demerara road where a motorcyclist loss hit life after slamming into a truck

At some point as a motorist, in Guyana you must have at some point heard the heard phrase “knock meh  down na” from pedestrians especially as they deliberately walk into the path of your vehicle while it’s in motion or going through a traffic light.

On Friday, Traffic Chief Linden Isles on confirmed that it is not necessary that motorists be held for a period of 72-hours in police custody for accidents they did not cause, especially in matters where a death has been recorded and where the other road user especially pedestrians were at fault.

His comments came from a series of questions posed by BIG Smith Crime on the SOPs’ which are associated with this practice which has been happening for years.

There are instances where other road users especially pedestrians and motor and pedal cyclists would cause the very accidents in which they are badly injured or killed.

“As it relates to fatal accidents and persons being kept in custody for 72-hrs; it is not necessary. Based on the evidence, the initial action and the evidence that is there then we will decide if that should be kept in custody based on the evidence and statements that would have been collected” Traffic Chief Isles explained.

Irrespective of who the errant road users are, some police across the country seems to have over the years adopted an unwritten SOP of keeping motorists who were not the errant road users, in custody for the full 72hours while they work to have the matters sent to court on the expiration of the last minute of the 72-hours.

In cases where persons are badly injured and have to be hospitalised, even the hospitalised person might have been responsible for the accident, the police again exercise that unwritten SOP of the 72-hours detention period before placing that driver on a station bail which most times amount to one hundred thousand dollars.

Traffic Chief Isles was about the lawful sanctions which can be brought against those other motorists especially pedestrians who endanger their own lives and that of other.

“As it relates to pedestrians and pedal cyclists, yes there are offences that they can be charged for we have crossing if they are using the road in an improper way and we know that pedal cyclist, bicycles the law caters for them to be charged. Persons using bicycles in an improper way they are supposed to be driven on the or ridden on the left hand side of the road not on the right hand side and all over the traffic so there are offences that they can be charged for.” Isles related

As it relates to enforcement, Traffic Chief isles noted that several pedal cyclist were taken into custody in several division for their use of the roadways. There are several pedestrian overpasses and traffic lights which are equipped with the instruction to pedestrians for when they can cross but in many instances pedestrians do not use the over passes and ignore the directions and commands of the traffic lights.