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One-year permits only, says Pandor

Public Service Vehicle (PSV) drivers and conductors who continue to act recklessly and break the law, may soon have to find other means of employment.

The Barbados Transport Authority (BTA) issued the warning to PSV operators today that changes were coming as it issued a public apology to the commuters injured in Tuesday’s tragic accident involving a PSV.

Following a specially convened two-hour meeting at the Licensing Authority, the Pine, St Michael, BTA Chairman Abdul Pandor told Barbados TODAY that several initiatives had been proposed in an effort to clean up the image of PSV operators.

Chairman of the BTA Abdul Pandor

Chairman of the BTA Abdul Pandor

“We discussed a number of the issues confronting the industry at this time and explored the options of addressing these in order to effect change. In particular, we will be examining the introduction of annual renewal of permits, as well as the terms and conditions related to the issues of these permits,” Pandor revealed.

“We are looking to see that everyone comes in and complies and that they have the necessary insurance, documentation and such every year.”

He said the renewal of permits would apply to PSV owners, as well as drivers and conductors.

“We want to do both the owners and then we are going to look at the drivers . . . ” Pandor added.

While admitting that discussions were still at the “embryonic stage”, he revealed that under the new terms and conditions, PSV operators would be forced to obtain Police Certificates of Character, among other things.

He hinted that failure to live up to these terms and conditions could result in an operator’s permit being denied.

In a statement following Tuesday’s accident, in which 21 people were injured, including 14-year-old Springer Memorial student Zakiyah Defreitas whose left forearm was severed Pandor said:

“As Chairman, on behalf of the members of the board and management of the BTA, we are saddened by the tragic accident which occurred on the afternoon of Tuesday, June 9, in the River Terminal.

“The injuries sustained to the students were grave and severe, with life-threatening consequences for those impacted. We want to offer our sincere sympathy during this period of distress.”

Pandor also reiterated the BTA’s commitment, as the statutory agency charged with the responsibility to regulate public transportation, to ensuring an efficient and timely service, as well as a safe environment for commuters, both adults and school children.

6 Responses to One-year permits only, says Pandor

  1. Patrick Blackman June 12, 2015 at 12:03 pm

    What Mr. Pandor fails to comprehend is that it is not an issue of permits, its about an INDUSTRY OUT OF CONTROL. What he needs to get is that the only option now is for the development and implementation of a COMPREHENSIVE NATIONAL TRANSIT POLICY which excludes the ZR/Minibus etc. from the transit system.

    How can any government continue to support the transport board when the ZR/Minibus etc. continue to service all the short haul lucrative routes? This state of affairs just doesn’t make any sense.This operating method will eventually cause the demise of the transport board and create a sink hole of debt for the government.

    We are such a small island to have so many competing transit systems, it becomes a breeding ground for stupidity. In the first instance , if these guys are paid on a commission basis (owner’s base money then the rest is mine), we will constantly have this madness on the roads. The notion that any industry can police itself is just absolute madness.

    You have cases where many of these drivers have multiple convictions for traffic offenses and yet they are allowed to continue to drive on the roads. The police need to operate at the level of ZERO TOLERANCE with this state of affairs. The public also need to stop supporting the behaviour of these drivers. It took this tragedy to wake up the authorities because of a percieved public out cry but within a couple of months all will be forgotten as usual and life will continue as normal. I am yet to see any comments from the insurance industry, I will wait a bit longer for now.


  2. Tony Webster June 12, 2015 at 12:31 pm

    @Patrick Blackman: touché!
    Guess what other li’l tidbit of wisdom my dad gave to me whilst I was yet in short-pants, and struggling to comprehend something that was clearly wrong, but my tender mind could not exactly put the finger on the precise source of the problem…or the solution?
    Said he: “Tony, money talks”

  3. Mc June 12, 2015 at 5:19 pm

    What is the sense in a certificate of character? That shows nothing and is not worth the stress to go thru getting it. That piece of paper proves nothing. And do psv not already have to renew annually already?

  4. Patrick Blackman June 12, 2015 at 6:10 pm

    Secondly Mr. Pandor, you proceeded to make public statements as to your intent with regards to this incident without first having the full benefit a comprehensive investigation being done. Of late this seems to be a common practice for public officials.

    To proceed to suspend a valid permit without just cause is quite alarming. Some may find this statement offensive but if we proceed along this slippery slope, how can we be assured justice will be done. If the owner of this ZR was full aware of the reckless nature of his/her employee and continue to put the public as risk by his employment, then yes to the revocation of his permit but if this is not the case then your actions are premature and quite frankly out of place.

    Because you may have the authority to revoke the permit even before police action is taken, it still doesn’t give you the right to violate the rights of the owner. Public out cry is one thing but due process is another.


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