AG wants action against ZR owners

Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite believes law enforcement agencies should penalize owners of ZR vans in order to effectively stop the culture of recklessness on the road.

Speaking to reporters after officiating at a passing out parade for recruits of the Barbados Defence Force yesterday, the Minister of Home Affairs complained that for too long law enforcement had been taking action against drivers and conductors, who simply paid their fines and moved on.

However, he said the vehicle owners were left free to hire other persons to run their buses and fall back into the traditional style.

“I think that in many ways maybe we are putting the emphasis in the wrong place in terms of the drivers and conductors etc.

“That’s our fault, ours collectively, meaning as a country, because as long as I could remember, I’ve been hearing, or you have been hearing about this ZR culture, and it’s been allowed to continue, and the reason it has been allowed to continue is because we seem to be penalizing the wrong persons,” Brathwaite said.

“We penalize the drivers, they go and work for somebody else, and the owners get someone else to drive and not feel it in their pocket.

“I figure that is where we need to start. Begin and end with the owners, because if a guy can’t make money, the foolishness that goes on will come to an end, well at least will be substantially eradicated,” he added.

However, Brathwaite still wants to see bus drivers and conductors charged for flouting the law.

“It does annoy me when I see conductors come out on mornings and stop traffic, and drivers come down a long line and all the traffic blocked up, [go] around a roundabout incorrectly etc. Something really has to be done,” he said.

47 Responses to AG wants action against ZR owners

  1. Chantay Chakiya
    Chantay Chakiya February 14, 2016 at 10:33 pm

    Shane Drakes

  2. Tristan John
    Tristan John February 14, 2016 at 11:03 pm

    I fail to see what sense it makes penalizing the owner. Won’t the driver STILL LEAVE and CONTINUE their RECKLESSNESS with someone else’s vehicle?!

    But AG, you were right when you said the fines imposed on drivers weren’t working to eradicate the nonsense; therefore, START JAILING THEM!

    You will NEVER get rid of the madness until you deal with the SOURCE of those problems; the drivers/conductors.

    • Olutoye Walrond February 15, 2016 at 12:38 am

      Tristan, I think they have given up on their ability to deal with the real culpriuts and are now looking for scapegoats. As I said before I wait to see what legal gymnastics will be employed to put the blame on owners. The law of vacarious liability cannot apply to a driver on the road, who is required to obey the traffic laws of this country.

      This thing has been going on for nearly 40 years, and only now do they realize they need to be firm. They permit drivers with multiple convictions to go back on the road, and then want to penalize owners for hiring them.

    • John Johns
      John Johns February 15, 2016 at 9:10 am

      penalizing the owners will only lead to less buses on the road because no person in they right mind would give a bus to somebody to drive only for the driver to go out and do foolishness then the owner at fault …the bus would just park in the yard …that risk is too great

  3. Delano Hutchinson
    Delano Hutchinson February 14, 2016 at 11:06 pm

    If he deals with the owners then the owners start making rules for the operation of their vans and the owners also have to consider who they hire as workers .

    • Tristan John
      Tristan John February 14, 2016 at 11:30 pm

      Do you know of any owner who would lease their hard earned property, without rules? .. Or were you kidding?

      I can understand the point about considering who is hired to work and please note some owners do request Police Certificates of Character. However, at the end of the day, when a man decides that he wants to do junk, what can an owner do but ask that the vehicle be returned? By that time the damage would already be done anyhow.

      JAIL TIME is the most appropriate and sensible punishment…

    • Junior Yarde
      Junior Yarde February 15, 2016 at 6:17 am

      You are on track Tristan John but I wouldn’t look to jail cuz then you be just creating an other problem take away their license and if any owner found hiring then penalize the owners

    • Ras Unjay
      Ras Unjay February 15, 2016 at 1:27 pm

      delano,all a owner need to know is you have a legal licence,nothing more bout a person is his business,you are only driving a van,[ how can a man that is proven to be a dangerous driver doing wid a licence,blame de law,them run things,them have legal guns,

    • Delano Hutchinson
      Delano Hutchinson February 15, 2016 at 2:41 pm

      Tristan dare I say yes, some owners don’t be too bothered as long as they making money. Do u think they aren’t aware of how their vans are driven? If I hire u to work for my shop as a mechanic , and I do crap and destroy a customer engine, do they seek compensation from the mechanic or the shop he works for? My point is, there’s a measure of responsibility that falls on the owner. And I’m not defending the ag views , cos I don’t think he should go that route but I made my comment in response to Tristans first comment is all. I think stiffer penalties should b placed on drivers such as HEAVY fines, suspension of licences and I think insurance should be very forward in making it known to owners that if their drivers don’t drive well they are at risk of losing their insurance (just like the rest of us normal drivers).

  4. Ras Unjay
    Ras Unjay February 14, 2016 at 11:21 pm

    madness,a owner should only be penalize if they give an unlicense driver the van.

  5. Ras Unjay
    Ras Unjay February 14, 2016 at 11:23 pm

    start taking away de foolish people license for three years first,then five then for good.[ a first timer get hold wid a five bag and get remand.

  6. Ras Unjay
    Ras Unjay February 14, 2016 at 11:24 pm

    wanna got de drivers smiling,

  7. John Ponting
    John Ponting February 14, 2016 at 11:27 pm

    Dem blasted ZR conductors cant even spell ZR

  8. Paul Clements
    Paul Clements February 14, 2016 at 11:29 pm

    Knee jerk !

  9. Terry Clarke
    Terry Clarke February 14, 2016 at 11:39 pm

    Just Awaken from Slumber!!!!

  10. Son in law February 14, 2016 at 11:54 pm

    They can start by penalizing the ZR driver who hit my mother-in-law’s car the other day and fled the scene.

  11. Adrian M Chase
    Adrian M Chase February 15, 2016 at 12:00 am

    I remember when a group of Taxi men started running a route (against the law) back in the day. Rather than nip the ignorance in the bud, the GoB of the day saw a way to make some easy money by handing out what we now know as ZR permits. The corruption started then and will continue because it was the GoB who created this mess in the first place.
    Bajans have selective and short memories.

  12. Mac10 February 15, 2016 at 12:05 am

    If you want something done, try telling the police to enforce the laws that already exist, try telling the courts to take drivers with multiple convictions off the roads, try stopping the old boy network that allows drivers to go free because he owners are “connected”

    Try some of those & see what happens!

  13. Olutoye Walrond
    Olutoye Walrond February 15, 2016 at 12:50 am

    You are penalizing the wrong persons?? So isn’t it the person who commits the offence who should be penalized anymore? When did we change from that?

    I think you guys have given up on your ability to deal with the real culpriuts and are now looking for scapegoats. As I said before I wait to see what legal gymnastics will be employed to put the blame on owners. The law of vacarious liability cannot apply to a driver on the road, who is required to obey the traffic laws of this country.

    This thing has been going on for nearly 40 years; have we only just discovered that we need to be firm?

    When the justice system permits drivers with multiple convictions to go back on the road, it is saying to owners ‘ these people are eligible for hire’. How do you penalize an owner for hiring someone the law says is eligible for hire?

    • Rishona Graham
      Rishona Graham February 15, 2016 at 4:15 am

      Funny and when people get locked up and charged de possession and importation of contraband society says but he’s the small man now the approach is not go after the small man and it’s still a problem

    • Olutoye Walrond
      Olutoye Walrond February 15, 2016 at 9:36 am

      Rishona Graham You are setting up your own straw man to knock him down. You can only “go after” the ‘big’ man if he is guilty.

    • Rishona Graham
      Rishona Graham February 15, 2016 at 9:59 am

      When you penalize the drivers the pay a fine and the problems are reoccurring. Still not solved.One should not have to mention it to the owners the owners should be fully responsible equally as the drivers as the drivers are only the employees. It is a service that is a necessity for some if you ask a zr driver to slow down or change the music as its vulgar and you have your impressionable children in the vehicle they want to fight so what should we do then ??

    • Olutoye Walrond
      Olutoye Walrond February 15, 2016 at 10:06 am

      Rishona Graham Rishona, please explain to me how an owner at home is responsible for a driver goign through a no-entry sign?

    • Rishona Graham
      Rishona Graham February 15, 2016 at 10:17 am

      True so what should happen is lets continuously fine the drivers. Thanks Olutoye for being objective. Have a blessed day.

    • Olutoye Walrond
      Olutoye Walrond February 15, 2016 at 10:36 am

      You didn’t answer the question.

  14. Tony Webster February 15, 2016 at 3:48 am

    Rome is burning; Caesar knows whodunnit; yet he plays his violin, wid one han’ …and wid the uthuh, writes philosophical peans to The Law. It’s all the fault of of that hapless creature, which everyone knows…is an ass.

    Meanwhile, back at The Ranch, the Yutes relish that they are the New Normal, re-shaping the Very Fabric of Society…under our omnipotent (impotent?) noses.

    Citizens of Rome! Awake from your slumber…and DO something…like calling de police to mek dem Bashment folks turn down de music…so you can go back…to sleep!

  15. Rishona Graham
    Rishona Graham February 15, 2016 at 4:14 am

    Before free bus fare Larry Thompson zr culture has been getting increasingly out of hand.

  16. Terry R Miller
    Terry R Miller February 15, 2016 at 6:03 am

    I don’t agree with the attorney general on this matter. First who are the owner of these van do them drive the van themself. What about the owner that doesn’t want to join a association because some owner do not want to be governed by know laws

  17. jrsmith February 15, 2016 at 7:18 am

    As I always say, doing anything in Barbados to put anything ,right, always take on a end of the world attitude..

    This Attorney general is just full of it. he wants everyone to do his job, what should the police do, you cant ask them ,to enforce action ,unless crime is committed or laws, rules ,regulation set by the transport authority is being broken.. the Barbados government needs to get they fingers out and manage Barbados LTD.
    Lets all look at one simple dangerous issue, how would bajans expect the ZR owners and drivers with they bad behaviour and reckless driving, to take anything serious, when the government of Barbados is allowing (30000 vehicles ) being driven on the roads of Barbados as uninsured. The owners of the ZR vans, who seems to be held in very high esteem, as to be above the law…
    Its now coming to past in Barbados , how effective, the gap between them and us is gradually ,smashing up our bajan societies as certain people becomes more lawless…how do you set standards , when the people who suppose to set the standards ,have no standards.. dishonourable..

  18. Kent Bridges February 15, 2016 at 7:35 am

    What madness is this? Is it so hard? Three strikes and drivers/conductor license revoked. Make them do a public transport drivers/conductor course for a year before they can even think about getting back a license.

  19. Sue Donym February 15, 2016 at 7:48 am

    Inspired by the AG, I have an idea. When an attorney steals client funds, close down the law firm. When a bank employee commits fraud, shut down the bank.
    Better idea: Citizens want AG who understands the law and supports investigation followed by appropriate prosecution .
    Another one: Detection and enforcement must be stepped up, so that it’s not only frustrated road users seeing the infractions, but police and MTW officers who can bring charges and act accordingly. (Quite convenient that RBPF falls under the AG’s portfolio; wait, court admin too)
    On a roll now: Traffic courts dedicated to traffic offences, bringing cases promptly and dispensing justice fairly.

    Yet another convenient truth: Both AG and Transport Minister are attorneys who should put their heads together and stop grandstanding. They need to be serious for more than a media moment and get to work on a sensible national transport plan. Identify the essential factors and put the systems in place to do review and honest assessment. Convert the legitimate, law abiding PSV operators into valuable sector partners and commit to getting rid of the culprits. The occasional indignant remark meant to persuade the public that they are working is not convincing. The Bajan public deserves far more.

  20. Sam Cuchie
    Sam Cuchie February 15, 2016 at 8:04 am

    Someone really isn’t thinking logical here

  21. Sheldon Cox
    Sheldon Cox February 15, 2016 at 8:25 am

    All bark and no bite

  22. Drewster February 15, 2016 at 9:01 am

    You are dealing with an ignorant sub-culture which exists not only in Barbados but in several other Caribbean islands. The matter can be cured.
    1. Drivers who break the law, turn in their driver’s licenses. They are then required to attend remedial driver education classes. They regain their licenses only when they successful retake their driver examination and road test.
    2. In so far as the owners are concerned, in cases where their ZR’s are infringe regularly, they too lose their vehicle permits until such time that they can prove institution of an effective system that screens their employee drivers and conductors prior to hire.
    3. Insurers ought to log persistent offenders and impose appropriately high premiums. .
    4. Remember the days of magistrate Lennox Perry and Corporal Cyrus. A few more like these two would prove most effective!

  23. Jack Baeur
    Jack Baeur February 15, 2016 at 9:04 am

    I think its the owners are held responsible. These owners are more than aware of what their employees are up to, but the $$$ is all the care about. Bring them to court see how all this foolishness will stop or at least be drastically reduced. Try calling an ownrr with a complaint and see if anything gets done. At least now we will c who these owners are…. leading to why things could never be done seriously to stop all the nonsense

    • John Johns
      John Johns February 15, 2016 at 9:07 am

      lol you would buy a vehicle for 100k have to pay insurance of 20k have to pay for a permit and have to pay to maintain the bus, and place it in the hands of somebody that u know out there doing foolishness ?

  24. John Johns
    John Johns February 15, 2016 at 9:04 am

    lol @ the AG …so when u ask for police Certificates of Character ask round bout the driver , give him 20 million interviews then he still goes out there and do foolishness its the owners fault ?……no wonder the world the way it is people never like to take responsibility for they actions …always place it on somebody else

  25. Celestine Duke
    Celestine Duke February 15, 2016 at 9:11 am

    Whenever I ask a question I hear but the cops own a lot of them.

  26. Lucinda Katrina McSinister
    Lucinda Katrina McSinister February 15, 2016 at 9:49 am

    AG is a nuisance! He think wa he talking is justice? Just goes to show…

  27. Mack Clarke
    Mack Clarke February 15, 2016 at 11:18 am

    It’s not the owners but the drivers that action should be taken against

  28. jrsmith February 15, 2016 at 11:26 am

    It would be so beneficial, if the government of Barbados, stop wasting time, spend some of they hours reading from the bajan today, to see where the logical ideas is coming from. which is hard to find from the CV jocks.

  29. Kay Critchlow
    Kay Critchlow February 15, 2016 at 1:35 pm

    Well I think it’s a good move , the driver should be given a fine in accordance with what violation he has committed but the employer of that driver needs taking to task if he is allowing his vans to be driven by people that put others lives in danger. For instance if you give a gun to a 15 year old boy and he kills someone who’s to blame ? Answer is both people. A van owner should know his drivers, have them decently dressed for work and maybe have friends or family jump on that van time to time see what’s going on. In other businesses the buck stops with the owner this is no different. I am appalled to read how bad this is especially how these vans are promoted to tourists .

  30. Swindley Edwards
    Swindley Edwards February 15, 2016 at 4:36 pm

    While he is at the “””” underclass”””” let’s see him go after the “”” UPPER CLASS “”” also.

  31. Veroniva Boyce
    Veroniva Boyce February 15, 2016 at 5:19 pm
  32. Tony Waterman February 15, 2016 at 6:41 pm

    Why is it that this Supposedly Highly Educated acts and speaks so foolishly????

    I am the Holder of a Drivers Licence since 1964, in those days it was not very easy to obtain a Drivers Licence, and since then, i have Driven in “Barbados, (1) Collision in Bank hall , The UK (NOTHING There), The USA, (Nothing There) Canada (1) Collision (My Fault) (2) speeding Tickest, nothing in the last approx 35 years. My insurance is $55.00 per Month incliding $1m Liability etc.
    i am saying all that to say this, wherever i have driven throughout the Years since obtaining my Drivers Licence, EXCEPT in Barbados, the Motor Vehicle and Road Traffic Act of those Jurisdictions, have all put the ONUS on the OPERATORS of ALL Motor vehicles. to be RESPONSIBLE for the Safe operation of the Vehicles that they are Driving. the Law expressly states that thedrive and the Driver alone is RESPONSIBLE for the SAFE operation of that Vehicle at ALL TIMES, so!!!! why would our Esteemed Attorney General want to make these OWNERS, Liable for something that is NOT under their immediate Control ???
    Why would he not put in place an amendment to the Road Traffic Act that would force any Driver, not only ZR Drivers to be SUSPENDED from driving for 6 Months in the first Instance, and to retake the written and practical (Road) Test in order to Regain Driving Priviliges (Yes Driving is a Privilege.NOT a Right)
    Of Course that would be ABOVE any Fines Accumulated for Road Traffic infractions, all of which would also have to be paid before they are allowed to take any exams, or be allowed back on the Roads Legally.

    I hope that the AG. actually reads these Comments, he MIGHT learn a little about what directions he SHOULD be taking.

  33. Panwallie February 15, 2016 at 8:37 pm

    Another bout of “foot in mout” disease!!! What will do Mr Minister about the owners of ZR’s who also happen to be politicians? Will they still be one punishment for the Medes and another for the Persians?

  34. Ahad February 15, 2016 at 11:36 pm

    Hello. What? Target the owner? That suggests that the drivers are untouchable. Big mugaffy. Come on sir start with demerits points and you will remove all of those reckless drivers who don’t care about life.


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