…as school reopens todayThe Officer in charge of Traffic in ‘C’ Division, East Coast Demerara, has made a call for commuters to be extra careful while using the roadways there, due to the ongoing expansion works.The Officer – Assistant Superintendent Morris Fraser — told Guyana Times during an interview on Saturday, “I’m appealing to the road users, especially the drivers, to be extremely cautious while using the East Coast public road, which is presently under construction between Annandale (and) Better Hope”.According to Fraser, since the expansion works started, the number of road accidents has in fact decreased, since drivers are now forced to lessen their usual speed, and there is increased police presence there.Fraser said, “The construction causes vehicles to slow down at most of the area where construction is going on; so, based on that, there is a reduction of speeding, which leads up to the decrease in road accidents in that particular area”.He also said the Guyana Police Force (GPF) would, in the next two weeks, commence lectures in the various schools in an effort to create more road safetyOngoing works at the ECD public roadawareness with the objective of eventually promoting safer environs for everyone.Officer Fraser said, “What you would find is that, during this period, you will have children who are now going to be attending different schools for the first time, and you have people who are going to be going to higher grades or higher classes, and so on. Some of them are going to be left on their own by parents; some of them are going to be using pedal cycles, and all these kinds of things; so there is a need for us to go to the schools to reinforce the road safety laws: like the curb drill, how to use the road, what to look for, how to cross on pedestrian crossings, and all the other things”.He said it is especially important for children to know how to use the pedestrian crossing, because many times they just cross. “We need to let them know that vehicles need time to stop, and these kind of things,” he elaborated.In addition to the school lectures, the Officer said, plans are also being made to lecture drivers to re-educate them, and reinforce the road laws.The US$50.2 million East Coast Road Expansion Project has two components; one features a four-lane expansion of the road from Better Hope to Annandale, and the other caters for an upgrade to the existing two-lane road from Annandale to Belfield.The two-year project is scheduled to be completed in September 2019. However, the contractor is aiming to wrap up the four lanes by the end of this year, after which work would commence on upgrading the two-lane next year.With the China EXIM Bank putting up most of the finances for the road expansion, Guyana had awarded the contract to China Railway First Group for some US$42.7 million.Upon completion of the widening and improvement of the East Coast Demerara Highway, citizens travelling along the East Coast will benefit from reduced travel time and less traffic congestion. Apart from the road being expanded, the project includes improved drainage for the East Coast, which is usually susceptible to flooding.