GPF troubles with ‘electric motorcycles’; PPP recanting on clean energy to be blamed

Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), Timothy Williams, who heads the Traffic Department in Division 4A, Guyana’s largest and most active police division per capita and crime to person ratio, has noted that the use of electric vehicles, specifically electric motorcycles, remains unregulated even with their popular usage. This disclosure was made by the senior officer during the Guyana Police Force’s (GPF) program via social media, “Traffic and You”.

DSP Williams informed that the electric bikes are operating unchecked since they are not documented as motor vehicles for the purposes of the Guyana’s archaic Motor Vehicles and Road Traffic Act. This legislation was enacted ninety six years ago, a time when young men from this former British Colony boarded the railway and journeyed to the Demerara for steam ships destined to the frontlines of World War II.

From then to now, the Parliament of Guyana has made little changes to this law. However. seatbelts, use of alcohol and mobile devices while driving, demerits are some of the notable changes. DSP Williams, like so many of his colleagues in the Traffic Department, has served for more than twenty years. The views he expressed are timely reminders of how slowly the PPP Government has kept up from 1992 to now with legislative developments that are common place elsewhere.

Fifty-six years after independence, and thirty years after the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, Guyana’s laws remain out of touch with modern realities, specifically energy transition. The Granger administration during its short lived three years in office had launched the Green State Development Strategy. Guyana’s first long term sustainable plan. This was short lived as the PPPC recanted on clean development after taking office in 2020 and have renewed its focus on ‘Gas to Shore’ initiatives and accelerated development in fossil production.

Electric powered vehicles, the absence of internal combustion and artificial intelligence are the new norms we must contend with. The GPF must equally be retrained and rebranded to meet these modern challenges, with modern laws and tools that are appropriate. The building of large police stations are good, but educated, well equipped, and informed police personnel who enjoy a living wage are even better.

Guyana is experiencing a deficit of leadership at the helm. DPS Williams’ view is an urgent call for Guyana to sufficiently match the needs of an oil producing nation which seeks the path of environmentally friendly development, through appropriate laws and policies.

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