Home Affairs Minister, Robeson Benn and Opposition Members of Parliament (MPs) clashed in the Committee of Supply on Thursday regarding the overuse of flashing lights on the roadways.
The minister was grilled to provide a rationale for the police turning a blind eye to envoys and ministers’ use of flashing lights when the law only makes provision for emergency vehicles.
According to Opposition MP and former Magistrate, Geeta Chandan-Edmond, drivers of non-emergency vehicles that use flashing lights to “push” other vehicles off the road to get ahead in traffic, are doing so illegally. She then inquired whether the Minister will update the laws, to which he responded in the affirmative.
Benn told the committee that some flexibility was extended to vehicles transporting envoys, noting that their safety is of paramount importance.
“We have to do things, sometimes to make sure that people are safe, especially plenipotentiaries,” Benn said.
He also lamented the blatant sale of flashing lights at stores in the city, acknowledging that some enhanced monitoring is needed.
In response to the Opposition Leader, Aubrey Norton questioning if Guyanese plenipotentiaries benefit from the same arrangement in other countries, Benn said that he will endeavour to find out from the foreign minister. Benn noted that the amendments to the legislation will also cater for ministerial escort vehicles.