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Now official for smart camera system to be used to nab, take action against errant drivers

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– as amendments to Motor Vehicle & Road Traffic Act gazetted

The government recently gazetted amendments to the Motor Vehicles and Road Traffic Act, which will see the implementation of a countrywide smart camera system on traffic lights that will immediately apprehend lawbreakers in the act, including drivers who speed and fail to wear seat belts.
The law that was gazetted will amend Section 2 of the Motor Vehicles and Road Traffic Act, by making provisions for smart cameras to be set up throughout the country to catch road users when they break the law.
These smart cameras will provide 24-hour surveillance on drivers, catching them in the act for offenses such as speeding or failing to wear a seatbelt. The bill, dated May 15, 2024, explains that these cameras will be set up at traffic lights throughout Guyana and will photograph vehicles in the middle of breaking the law.
It was explained that these photographs, along with a notice of the fine, would be sent to the registered owner of the vehicle, including via phone number and address. This, according to the law, will be done with the help of the National Data Management Authority (NDMA).
“When a driver of a vehicle is captured speeding or a person fails to wear a seatbelt, a photograph, and video recording is sent electronically to the National Data Management Authority (NDMA),” the bill states.
“A team of highly trained and certified officers will then review the footage to determine and confirm if there was a violation of the speeding or seatbelt laws. Once determined and confirmed, a notice will be generated and delivered to the registered owner of the vehicle.”
Attorney General Anil Nandlall had previously explained that if the registered owner was not the person operating the vehicle at the time the offense was committed, then he/she would be responsible and held accountable for identifying the driver.
He also explained that the modern-era Electronic Communication and Transaction Act passed last year, lays the statutory and legitimate basis and framework for all digital transactions to take place and become formally recognised.
This Act, he had noted, “Allows for every transaction and every form of payment that is being done manually to be done electronically and the law recognises it as valid and as enforced had it been done non-digitally.
“Everything that we are doing manually now we have the legal capabilities to do them electronically and digitally. All we now have to do is build the requisite infrastructure and platform to bring those transactions to fruition.”
The government has been rolling out its e-ticketing system along certain sections of the country’s roadways. For instance, the e-ticketing system was rolled out in 2022 along the Mandela to Eccles highway. And on its first day, the system recorded approximately 1,500 traffic violations.
The new approach replaces the manual ticketing method utilising paper tickets and blank paper, and it records the offending motorist through the application. It is anticipated that this will promote more road discipline, encourage drivers to obey traffic laws, and reduce the frequency of accidents caused by reckless driving.
In response to the alarmingly high rate of fatal accidents, previous amendments to the Road Traffic Act had also been passed which created a new offence, motor manslaughter; and introduced harsher penalties for offences such as driving under the influence and dangerous driving.
But Nandlall is adamant that cultural change is required for the system to work. He had noted, “A large part of it has to do with the users of the road. The mentality must change … It requires an attitudinal change and that must come from the people, the users of the road.”
In 2024, Guyana has witnessed a decline in both fatal accidents and resultant deaths, according to recent data released by the Guyana Police Force (GPF). Between January 1 and May 14, 2024, there were 78 reported fatal accidents and incidents, marking a decrease from the 84 incidents recorded during the same period in 2023.
Correspondingly, the number of fatalities resulting from these accidents has also decreased, with 91 fatalities reported in 2024 compared to 95 in 2023.

The post Now official for smart camera system to be used to nab, take action against errant drivers appeared first on Guyana Times.

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