Guyana Police Force Amps Up Road Safety Campaign for Children

Written by on June 14, 2024

Owing to the devastating effects of road accidents and the significant loss of life they cause, road safety is a critical concern for all road users. The importance of road safety extends to every individual, but it is especially crucial for young children. Ensuring that children understand and practise safe road behaviours is vital for their protection. Thus, the Guyana Police Force is making a concerted effort to educate the nation’s children about road safety.

Sergeant Richard Trotz, Head of the Guyana Police Force’s Traffic Education Unit

“For children of a tender age, using the road safely involves several key practices,” says Sergeant Richard Trotz, head of the Guyana Police Force’s Traffic Education Unit. “Always use pedestrian crossings where they are available. Walk on the right-hand side of the road, facing oncoming traffic, to ensure that drivers can see you clearly. And most importantly, avoid crossing the road between parked or stationary vehicles, as this can obstruct the view of you and the drivers, increasing the risk of accidents.”

Sergeant Trotz also emphasises the importance of the Kerb Drill when using pedestrian crossings. The Kerb Drill is a set of instructions designed to teach children how to cross the street safely. It begins with stopping at the kerb and standing away from the edge. Then, one should look both ways—left, right, and left again—to check for any oncoming traffic and listen for vehicles that might not be visible. After assessing whether it is safe to cross, if no traffic is coming, walk straight across the road while continuing to look and listen. If there is oncoming traffic, let it pass, and then walk straight across the road without running and maintaining vigilance throughout. The Kerb Drill teaches pedestrians, especially children, to be cautious and aware in order to reduce the risk of accidents when crossing streets.

Children should also avoid playing near roadways as this poses a significant risk, particularly after school hours. “Children often play along the road, unaware of the dangers. It is essential to educate them about the hazards and encourage them to play in safe, designated areas away from traffic,” Sergeant Trotz emphasises.

The sergeant further shared that parental behaviour plays a pivotal role in shaping children’s road safety habits. He says, “When parents ride motorcycles without wearing helmets, they set a poor example for their children, who may then copy this unsafe behaviour. It is imperative that parents model responsible road use to instil good habits in their children.”

Educational initiatives are crucial in promoting road safety among children. With this in mind, the Guyana Police Force, along with the government, is carrying out various sensitization outreaches and workshops across the country to teach children about the dos and don’ts of road safety. Schools and community centres play a vital role in this endeavour.

In addition to educational programs, community involvement is essential in fostering a safe environment for children. Parents and guardians play an active role in reinforcing road safety rules at home. “Teaching children the importance of road safety from a young age is essential. As they grow, these young individuals will contribute to society, and fostering a culture of safety early on can help reduce the incidence of accidents,” Trotz advises.

The impact of road accidents is not only immediate but also far-reaching, with severe consequences for families and communities. By instilling safe behaviours in children today, we are raising a safer, more conscientious generation of road users tomorrow.

Written by Hillon Lacruz


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