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There continues to be a number of fatal road accident on our roadways involving young people. We learnt earlier this week of a smash-up, in which a motor vehicle, reportedly travelling at a very fast rate, lost control, on Homestretch Avenue, eventually crashing into a pole. The latter scenario of excessive speed has become the familiar narrative in the description of many road fatalities, again, often with multiple fatalities.
To the parents especially, and the families of Dakera Fraser and Tonika Halley, respectively, we offer our heartfelt sympathies at their tragic losses, and pray that they garner strength at this difficult time.
Apart from the fact that multiple fatalities have become a recurring statistical denominator of present day road accidents in Guyana, there is a factor which, as a constant, is alarming, and must be a cause for concern – the very young age of the victims, as in the case of the most recent deceased persons, 18 and 20 years-old, respectively. Immediately, one may refer to a Vreed –en –Hoop smash –up which took the lives, also, of three young persons, inclusive of two teens, and a 24 years- old, in October 2017.
Lest there be accusations of only being concerned with the young -aged accident victims, there is also concern for the older persons as well. For not only are most of them breadwinners for their individual families, but that their deaths often result in severe economic hardships, mostly bringing to an abrupt halt, important family endeavours. It is therefore emphasised that all citizens, irrespective of age, are important to their families, and to society for their contributions.
Speeding on the nation’s roads has been an almost daily topic, expounded on by the Traffic Department of the Guyana Police Force(GPF) and the Guyana Road Safety Association, in their advice to the public, particularly as to its deadly consequences. But, such admonitions continue to be ignored by many who traverse the national roadways these days.
Is it because that it is far easier to own a car these days, inclusive of the fact of parents gifting cars to their children, that underlines the reason for the definite recklessness and unconcern for life, that today underlines the road use behavior of many, many motorists? And are too many young people becoming vehicle owners without the clear understanding that such a social elevation means a heavy responsibility in the use of such a vehicle, since it involves the use of roadways on which every similar driver must play their part in observance of the traffic rules, minimizing the occurrence of road accidents, thus keeping each other safe?
For surely, if, for the younger segment of road users, owning a car, means drinking alcoholic beverages, driving with blaring music – there is no report that the occupants in the ill- fated car had been imbibing – as have been the case in so many of the instances in which youthful citizens have died in horrific crashes, then they are deliberately setting the stage for the abrupt end to their young lives; or, even if they survive, having to live a life of lingering pain and physical discomfort, even disability, because of the compulsiveness of speeding.
One hopes that these two latest road deaths, serve as a wake-up call to the dangers of speeding on the roads, a cardinal traffic sin by too many of our road users. We are certain that such a crash, could have been avoided, much less the loss of two young lives.