The Guyana Police Force (GPF) has recorded a 61 per cent increase in vehicular accidents for the year. This is according to Traffic Chief Dion Moore in a recent interview with the Government Information Agency.According to Moore, the traffic task force has been reintroduced to curb accidents, pointing out that the use of cell phones while driving and inattentiveness are among the reasons for accidents.“Our main focus will be to catch, capture driver who chose to drive above the prescribed limit, speeding in areas where there are traffic lights, breach of traffic lights control signals, driving using a cell phone as well,” Moore explained.The reintroduction of the traffic task force is expected to address these concerns along with other traffic violations, adding that the task force, which will consist of Police ranks including inspectors, will be conducting enforcement in all divisions.Using cell phones while driving is “a soaring issue”, Moore added. However, effectively charging persons for this violation is difficult for policemen. Officers first have to recognise the offence but many drivers contest using their cell phones with the Police.“A lot of persons when they see the police, upon recognising the police, they’ll drop the phone in the vehicle and remain in the sameTraffic Chief Dion Mooreposition that they were at and they will try to contest with the police that they were on the call,” said Moore.However, the Police have been assisted by surveillance cameras that are installed across the city, Moore said. “We do find a lot of cases coming out of the CCTV cameras and we will continue in that regards,” he pointed out. The cameras have also assisted Police with bringing charges to drivers who breach traffic lights.The task force is also expected to assist in curbing these violations, along with the cameras whilst operating between Fridays to Mondays. “We find most of the accidents occurring during that period and a lot of these drivers are found above the prescribed limit of alcohol,” Moore told GINA.Meanwhile, Moore pointed out that there has also been a 50 per cent increase in fatal accidents. There has also been an increase in minor accidents by 21 per cent. There was a reported 60 accidents for this year compared to 40 during the same period last year.While Moore identified driving under the influence as the major cause for a lot of the accidents, it was speeding that was responsible for most fatal accidents as well as inattentiveness on the roads was identified as a cause of fatal accidents. A total of 12,161 persons have been charged so far for speeding, Moore added.The Traffic Chief said everyday enforcement, coupled with education awareness across the country, will be used to decrease traffic accidents. “We’ll work along with the stakeholders, the National Road Safety Council and other organisations to see how best we can reduce accidents,” Moore assured.The traffic department will be soliciting youth organisations and vocational training programmes over the August holiday to conduct educational programmes on road safety.
Queen’s CollegeThe administration of Guyana’s leading secondary academic institution, Queen’s College has signalled its discontentment with the yearly subvention granted for general expenditures, saying that it is not sufficient to fill all gaps.Principal consultant Alfred Granger made this disclosure on Wednesday, stating that when the salaries of employees are deducted from the total amount, only $20 million remains to service the school for the entire year. As such, Queen’s College is “always in deficit”.“One of the problems we have at Queen’s College is that we’re always short of money. The Board gets subvention and the subvention you get sounds large, but when you take out teachers and some auxiliary staff salaries from that subvention, we’re left with around $20 million to run the school so we’re always in deficit,” Granger informed.The consultant reminded that the school sits on some 12 acres of land and contains three buildings, which require constant maintenance.“Queen’s College stands on almost 12 acres of ground. The three buildings put together are the largest of any school in the country. The monies we have cannot run the school and pay our bills,” he said.Students and teachers had complained last year that the field was overgrown with bushes for almost over three years, making it difficult for athletes to train. It also pushed the administrative body to host their inter-house sports at the Georgetown Cricket Club (GCC) ground.Presently, the ground is almost 100 per cent completed.After reports were made by Guyana Times of the dilapidated facilities and other infrastructure, a decision was made to allocate $11 million for rehabilitation works.The science labs, which were considered by the teachers as “not conducive” to lab experiments, were to be repainted and new cupboards installed with the ceiling getting a facelift.AnniversaryOne week of activities has been launched for the school’s 175th anniversary celebration, and this is expected to provide funding for a music and orchestra programme. Granger noted that in the 1900s, the school was recognised for the performing orchestra and band. This will be reintroduced with steel pan and other components.The events will commence on Sunday, October 27 and conclude on Saturday, November 2. Activities on the agenda include a wreath-laying exercise at Sir William Percy Austin’s grave on October 27, followed by the renaming of the library and allied arts building on October 28.October 29 is reserved for a golf tournament at the Lusignan Golf Club and a Women of Queen’s College panel discussion. This is accompanied by the election of office bearers, a museum tour, and the Ray Luck piano recital on October 30.Students will gather at the school on October 31, for their Sports Day activities and a “Curry-Que”. The last two days will conclude with long day tours and a 70s themed party at the Pegasus Hotel.For these commemorative events, the Tourism Hospitality Association of Guyana (THAG) has given its support, since many Guyanese in the Diaspora are expected to return, spiking tourist arrivals. Over the years, the overseas alumni has raised millions of dollars for the school to revamp infrastructure and pay other expenses.Principal consultantAlfred Granger