PSV drivers drinking on the job

A leading road safety advocate is accusing some public service vehicle (PSV) operators of engaging in the dangerous practice of drinking on the job.

President of the Road Safety Association of Barbados Sharmane Roland-Bowen did not provide statistics to back her claim, but she said too many taxi and PSV drivers and conductors were consuming alcohol while at work.

Roland-Bowen claimed that the practice was even more prevalent during the Crop Over season.

“There is nothing to stop these taxi men or these public service vehicles men from drinking and driving, there is nothing to do it. And they do it. There is proof and evidence that they do it. It makes no sense that you feel that you are not capable to drive home and put your life in somebody else’ hand and that person is not capable because that person is under the influence of alcohol. It makes no sense,” she lamented.

“You can see them doing it . . . and it is like they don’t be shame. They do it openly with passengers in the vehicles. They don’t hide and do it.”

The road safety campaigner spoke against the background of a partnership involving insurance company Consumers’ Guarantee Insurance (CGI), telecommunications company Flow and BeepCap, a taxi booking application that will be used to secure transportation for drivers of private vehicles found to have had too much to drink.

The partnership encourages voluntary breathalyzer testing for patrons at various Crop Over events, a move which received the full backing of Minister of Industry, International Business, Commerce and Small Business Development Donville Inniss.

Roland-Bowen told Barbados TODAY she would be happy if the PSV drivers would pledge to abstain from alcohol during their work hours. In addition, she suggested that “all bus drivers around” should agree to random breathalyzer testing.

“I know the public would be so much more reassured that they are putting their lives in capable hands or responsible hands pertaining to taxi drivers,” Roland-Bowen said.

She said along with the breathalyzer, she hoped Government would take the firm decision to enact legislation to address the issue of driving while intoxicated.

The two associations representing PSV owners agreed the situation was one that needed to be addressed and they were working to find solutions.

However, chairman of the Association of Public Transport Operators (APTO) Maurice Lee told Barbados TODAY the situation was not limited to the transportation industry.

“We have always expressed concern about operators drinking while operating PSVs, as conductors and drivers. And for the last decade I have been calling frequently for breathalyzer testing and drug testing for our PSV operators and to date that has not form part of the legislation,” Lee said.

“The Government finds it easier to attempt to legislate uniforms and not breathalyzer test. The public will be able to determine which is more important, to have a driver that can easily pass a breathalyzer test or one that can wear a shirt that is properly pressed,” he said.

Meanwhile chairman of the Owners of Public Transport Inc (AOPT) Roy Raphael admitted that drivers and conductors drank on the job, but said the problem was not widespread.

Raphael told Barbados TODAY the owners were monitoring the situation in an effort to arrest it and were encouraging the travelling public to report any driver or conducted observed drinking. 

9 Responses to PSV drivers drinking on the job

  1. Arte Maria Benn
    Arte Maria Benn July 8, 2016 at 7:10 am

    Glad you brought it up.

    Let’s address this across the board.

    Police officers drinking while on duty, hat under arm and smile on their face.

    … Oh wait only psv men was supposed to get call out?

    Oh and yeah, all year round you can find the lunch time Guinness bottles in psvs.

  2. Johnathan July 8, 2016 at 7:32 am

    Every trip they make when they get back in the van stand they push their hands in the owners bag and theif a stout or energy drink or a brandy and get a top up.

  3. Nico HL Beckles
    Nico HL Beckles July 8, 2016 at 8:08 am

    The shock comes when you find one that doesn’t drink on the job

  4. goldengirl109 July 8, 2016 at 10:03 am

    I have seen it many times being done. The driver slows down and the conductor hops off and runs into the shop, comes back out with the drinks and hops back on the van and off they go on their merry way with the passengers in the van.

  5. Sue Donym July 8, 2016 at 12:08 pm

    And all these passengers say nothing – not to driver, conductor, owner nor Transport Ministry/Authority? And they continue to take the vehicles? Hmmm.

  6. Tony Waterman July 8, 2016 at 12:58 pm

    First off Sharmane Roland-Bowen!!!! Show me the Proof, getting in the newspaper and making these statements are not good enough for someone in your Posirion, it if FACTS that are supposed to matter, NOT Hear Say, and what you are giving here now is HEAR SAY. In this Day and Age, where Police and Other Violence is streaming LIVE, show me the Proof.
    Next thing that you are way out into left field at, is the Breathalizer thing, they are NO, i repeat NO LAWS in Barbados allowing the Police or anyone else, to administer Breathalizer Tests to anyone, so put that aside, you would have to petition your Honourable Minister, The Attorney General, to Bring that Legislation to Parliament for Discussion and a Vote.

    If as you say, they don.t hide and do it, then there should be absolutely no Problem getting video/snapshots of them doing it.thos videos/pictures can them be turned over to the Authorities (Police/MTW) mas evidence against the perpertrators.

    “”Meanwhile chairman of the Owners of Public Transport Inc (AOPT) Roy Raphael admitted that drivers and conductors drank on the job, but said the problem was not widespread.””

    this guy should be call on Board to explain this statement to the Authorities, because if he has Proof of this, and has not turned it over to the Authorities, he should be Charged with ithholding evidence of a Crime.

    On the other Hand, This is Barbados, what else can be expected ????

  7. jrsmith July 8, 2016 at 3:44 pm

    If the people in bim be honest they know not only (PSV) drivers drink on the job which I have seen myself ,but this drinking is all across the board, thats why I said before people involve in accidents should be breath or blood tested… random breath testing needs to be introduce into Barbados its simple…most democracies enforces the same…

  8. BoboTheClown July 8, 2016 at 10:25 pm

    Where were you all your life Roland Bowen? You sure don’t look like you have just finish Grade School. I wonder when did you find this amazing story . I could see the many expressions on people’s faces to learn that some or most of these drivers entrusted with their daily lives do drink on the job.What a surprise?
    Roland Bowen ,you should remove your blinkers permanently.

  9. Sue Donym July 9, 2016 at 1:00 pm

    @Tony Waterman, can you be clear on what you’re asking: you want Roy Raphael to be charged for withholding details of something that is not specified in law and therefore not an offence? What is the crime? Even jurisdictions that have breath testing and/or blood alcohol testing have an amount of alcohol or other substance that is allowable. But you want Raphael to be able to determine what has been consumed, know the amount and be able to predict the effects? I think it’s actually the legislators, detectors, testers and police that need to get into action before you indict Mr Raphael.


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