Traffic Safety and Road Conditions
While in a Guyana, you may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning Guyana is provided for general reference only, and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.
Driving in Guyana can be potentially very hazardous. The rate of traffic accident fatalities in Guyana is higher than in the United States. Cars, large commercial vehicles, horse drawn carts, bicyclists, motorcycles, free range livestock, stray dogs, pedestrians, aggressive "mini-buses" and sleeping animals all share narrow, poorly maintained roads. Aggressive, speeding vehicles on the same roads with slow-moving vehicles makes driving in Guyana especially dangerous. Driving at unsafe speeds, reckless driving, tail-gating, quick stops without signaling, passing at intersections, and passing on crowded streets is commonplace. Driving at night poses additional concerns as many roads are not lit, some drivers do not lower high beam lights, livestock sleep on the road and many pedestrians congregate by the roadside. You should exercise caution at all times while driving and avoid driving outside of Georgetown at night when possible.
The Traffic Division of Guyana's National Police Force is responsible for road safety but is ill-trained and ill-equipped. The Department of State recommends that Embassy staff travel in groups of two or more vehicles when traveling outside Georgetown.
You are advised to use caution traveling to and from Cheddi Jagan International Airport, especially at night. The Embassy requires its staff to use official vehicles when traveling this route between dusk and dawn due to a combination of most of the aforementioned characteristics of driving in Guyana.
Penalties for drivers involved in an accident resulting in injury or death are severe, including life imprisonment. If involved in an accident, call 911 for police and 913 for an ambulance. Please note that these numbers are not always operational, police may be slow to respond and an ambulance may not be available.
Drivers use the left side of the road in Guyana. Seatbelt use is required by law and is enforced; failure to use a seatbelt when riding in the front seat of any vehicle can result in a fine. There presently are no laws in Guyana concerning use of child car seats, but the use of age-appropriate seats is strongly recommended for child passengers. Both drivers of and passengers on motorcycles must wear protective helmets that meet certain specifications. Talking on cellular telephones while driving is illegal; however, it is legal if a driver uses a hands free set. Mini-buses (small 12- to 15-passenger vans) ply various routes both within and between cities. Mini-bus drivers have come under severe criticism from the government, press, and private citizens for speeding, aggressive and reckless driving, overloading of vehicles, poor vehicle maintenance and repair, and offensive remarks directed at passengers, but little change in their driving behavior has been noted. Mini-buses have been involved in the majority of fatal vehicular accidents in recent years, and official Americans are barred from using them. You should use taxis for transportation.
You are responsible for ensuring that you meet and comply with foreign entry requirements, health requirements and that you possess the appropriate travel documents. Information provided is subject to change without notice. One should confirm content prior to traveling from other reliable sources. Information published on this website may contain errors. You travel at your own risk and no warranties or guarantees are provided by us.