18 hurt in crash
PSV owners react to latest ZR and minibus collision
Disturbed by a skyrocketing number of police reports of public service vehicle drivers, PSV owners are planning to meet shortly with Acting Commissioner of Police Tyrone Griffith to try to work out a ticketing system.
The announcement today from the Chairman of the Alliance Owners of Public Transport, Roy Raphael, came against the backdrop of another mass casualty accident earlier today in Maxwell, Christ Church, involving a PSV and a minibus.
While Raphael does not think the number of serious accidents involving ZRs and minibuses has reached a worrying level, he is, however, unhappy that too many drivers, particularly younger ones, were being prosecuted.
He told Barbados TODAY this evening that most accidents were minor and he was more concerned that one person could chalk up as many as 200 to 300 reports per year, mainly for going off route, overloading or stopping at places other than bus stops.
“We are going to be meeting shortly with the Commissioner of Police to see how best we can look at a ticketing system, where the guys can actually be ticketed, rather than [having to] go to court,” said Raphael.
“All we would like to see is more older drivers coming to drive the vehicles. We are having too many younger persons showing interest in driving public service vehicles . . . and that has been a concern for the Ministry [of Transport and Works] that they intend to go to Parliament and raise the age limit to 25 years and over.”
The head of the PSVs owners association noted that the rate of serious accidents would be more of a concern to the insurance companies.
The Royal Barbados Police Force (RPBF) is, meanwhile, satisfied with the response of emergency services to this morning’s mass casualty in which at least 18 persons were injured as a result of a collision between a ZR van and a minibus around 7:50 a.m.
Speaking to the media at the scene in Maxwell, Christ Church, Assistant Superintendent John Maxwell, who is attached to the Oistins-headquartered Southern Division, said the various agencies responded in a timely manner and effectively attended to the accident.
The injuries were not reported to be life threatening but five persons had to be transported to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital by ambulance. Those who received serious injuries, including children, complained of pains to the neck, chest, abdomen and other areas of the upper body.
Other passengers, who complained of mostly pain and shoulder injuries, received attention at the scene where the Barbados Defence Force (BDF) set up a temporary treatment tent.
ASP Maxwell confirmed that five children under the age of 10 were among the passengers. Barbados TODAY understands from sources that a two-year-old boy hit his face to a metal bar during the collision.
The minibus, owned by McCarty Rentals, was driven by 50-year-old Eustace O’Neil Morris of Welchman Hall, St Thomas. The ZR, owned by MAH Transport Service, was driven by William Gamble of Sayers Court, Christ Church.
“We had a team of four doctors led by Dr David Byer from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. There were several ambulances; five from QEH and two from BDF. The Barbados Fire Service and Roving Response team also responded,” ASP Maxwell said.
“In addition, we had a number of police officers who sought to protect the scene of the accident which was classified as a mass casualty situation given the number of persons who were injured.”
ASP Maxwell stressed that the children were given special attention and made to feel as comfortable as possible.
“We had the head of the Community Officers Section from Oistins Police Station and she has been specifically trained to deal with kids. Therefore she responded to lend that assistance to those children,” he said.
The road, which was closed to traffic while investigations were taking place, reopened around 11 a.m.