Guilty PSV drivers should have licences revoked

A spokesman for Public Service Vehicle (PSV) operators is supporting the Barbados Transport Authority and Minister of Transport Michael Lashley in their proposal to revoke the licences of drivers found guilty of driving recklessly on the island’s roads.

Roy Raphael, chairman of the Alliance of Owners of Public Transport Operators, voiced support for the idea this afternoon as he expressed concern, during a Barbados TODAY interview, about a video circulating on social media showing a minibus being driven recklessly as it headed in the direction of Speightstown, St Peter.

On Tuesday June 9, a ZR van overturned along Nursery Drive, The City, injuring 21 people, including close to a dozen school children.

The scene at Nursery Drive following this afternoon’s accident.
The scene at the June 9 Nursery Drive accident.

Raphael said such incidents, along with consistent complaints from commuters about PSV drivers, were unacceptable and unjustifiable.

“As it relates to the video circulating out there, I believe the Transport Authority should do a thorough investigation into the matter and that they do the right thing. Those matters ought to be investigated,” he said.

He also suggested that owners, whose drivers were caught behaving in a reckless manner, should be warned.

He said it was the responsibility of owners to investigate the background of people they were allowing to drive their vehicles before handing over the keys.

However, Raphael said he believed owners should not be punished for the actions of drivers.

“You might have a situation where a driver knows that if he goes down the road and drives recklessly, your permit can be suspended or can be canceled.”

He said it was agreed at a recent meeting of the joint committee of the owners and operators of public transport that the Transport Authority, as a regulatory body, needed to meet with operators to discuss this urgent problem, among other issues.

“We need to sit together as operators, owners and regulators. It doesn’t make any sense people fighting against each other. You would find that somebody might call the Transport Authority, make a complaint and then they never know if the person was disciplined,” he remarked.

6 Responses to Guilty PSV drivers should have licences revoked

  1. Patrick Blackman June 20, 2015 at 4:23 pm

    I will repeat here again, this industry is a clear and present dnger to society and should be shutdown permanently. The notion that these guys pay taxes and have the right is just plain crazy given the level of stupidity exhibited by the drivers.

    Just two weeks ago we had this incident and yet you still have stupid drivers engaging in this crazy behaviour and what is even more shocking is that the passengers are continuing to travel on these buses. I saw this video and it was just madness. What have the police done about the vehicle shown in the video?

    The insurance carriers have been silent on this issue, they are the ones who can bring this madness to a standstill by cancelling the insurance of these owners.

    Reply
  2. Sue Donym June 20, 2015 at 6:17 pm

    Let’s be clear. Every time that a vehicle starts, there is the potential for disaster. Let’s also agree that the chances of a disaster can be lessened by checking the vehicle, operating that vehicle with due care and adhering to the road traffic regulations.

    Given this, rational people choose every day to risk air travel, an industry that has been allowed to continue, even though a single tragedy can kill hundreds – including those not on board.
    I think we can agree that shutting down the commuter industry is NOT the reasoned response. Rather, the focus must be placed on regulating the industry with heavy emphasis on enforcement of standards.

    A shutdown would seriously impact access to education, health care, employment,leisure, commerce, productivity.
    How can you justify penalising an owner who employed a driver on the condition that he, as an adult, would operate the vehicle in accordance with the provisions of his permit and within the restrictions of the Road Traffic Act and its Regulations?

    Imagine I’m a seamstress. If my employee is issued my scissors, to cut cloth but uses it to kill someone, should I be viewed as a party to the crime?

    Reply
  3. Patrick Blackman June 20, 2015 at 10:00 pm

    @Sue Donym

    “rational people choose every day to risk air travel, an industry that has been allowed to continue, even though a single tragedy can kill hundreds – including those not on board.”

    Yes but there are numerous checks and balances in the airline industry which significantly reduce the number of disasters. With the PSVs there are basically none (except may be the annual safety inspection), they do as they like until the police just happen upon them, then they go to court and pay the fine and back on the job doing the same crazy stuff.

    “I think we can agree that shutting down the commuter industry is NOT the reasoned response. Rather, the focus must be placed on regulating the industry with heavy emphasis on enforcement of standards.”

    I am not advocating the complete shutdown of the commuter industry just PSVs, Transport Board can pull its weight if given the resources. The issue of regulation and enforcement has always been a major problem going back over 30 years and it still has not changed.

    Psv owners hire guys who are hustlers to make money not to provide a safe and efficient service. These owners are not deaf or blind to what these drivers do on the road. If they wanted to reduce this level of stupid behaviour, they would pay these guys a fixed salary and that would resolve a lot of problems. When you tell a guy I want $2000 per day and the rest is yours to make, what do you think he is going to do?

    “Imagine I’m a seamstress. If my employee is issued my scissors, to cut cloth but uses it to kill someone, should I be viewed as a party to the crime?”

    If you know your driver has numerous citations for traffic offences and reckless driving and you continue to put him behind the wheel then I do have a problem and so should you. The problem is that no one has any control over these drivers and they are not prepared to be control by the owners or the police. They are out there to make money at all cost no matter who they may endanger while doing so.

    I do understand where you are coming from and I clearly see your points but we cannot pretend that this will change by way of regulation and enforcement. We have tried this on several occasions in the past and the industry has never change. The only way we may get change (unfortunately) is when a few tourists die on these PSV.

    That video clearly showed the level of mentality we are dealing with here, that’s why I left the country a few decades ago because I understood the nature of the politicians and the mindset of people in this country.

    As usual, I do respect your comments, they are well reasoned and make good sense but on this issue of PSVs I find it extremely difficult to change my view.

    Reply
  4. Sue Donym June 21, 2015 at 1:20 am

    I think we’ve clearly made the case for the “authorities” to do what they must. So there is no confusion, Transport Board buses are Public Service Vehicles (PSVs), but if they’ve not got it right in 50 years, the system needs to be revisited.

    That you left B’dos a few decades ago explains your belief that paying a fixed salary would solve a lot. Work ethic is not what it used to be and I guarantee you, if a fixed salary were paid, a huge percentage would start late, end early and have extended lunch times. Conversely, there are some in the industry that could get “employee of the year” in any respected company (admittedly mostly owner-drivers).

    You must concede though, that [“if …. know your driver has numerous citations for traffic offences and reckless driving and you continue to put him behind the wheel”] . Just insert MTW/ Law Courts instead of the blank. Then ask if there is another suggestion of recklessness. Then add “They are out there to make money at all cost no matter who they may endanger while doing so” Hmmm.
    Ticklish area.

    The other way to get change is to adhere to your own system of “checks and balances” which equates to regulation and enforcement. I think we agree on more than we disagree.

    Reply
  5. jrsmith June 21, 2015 at 10:28 am

    Mr,Rapheal, that statement ,owners should not be punished for drivers actions. So political .Someone has to take responsibility , for the blasted mess the system is in. The owners choose to attach themselves to this type of business, so they need to bear the responsibility.
    Its never ok when people are travelling on these vehicles , and because of lawless reckless drivers almost ending up dead ,in very short journeys.

    Then comes this issue of ownership, someone correct me if I am wrong, which we could judge as conflict of interest, that some of these vehicles are owned by members of the establishment.

    Mr,Rapheal , must now convince us that he is willing to get all owners, parties and associations to a special meeting ASAP, and come away with the inform transparency to pass on to the bajan people giving them some right knowing , when they lives are put at risk, knowing which door to breakdown.

    Bajans need to realize , from now on they have to fight for basic survival, in this so call political democratic world. The people who votes were cast for, to help us , are always at each other throats , the police who are there for our protection are doing the same , the unions representing our people , seems to be at war with every dispute, not being able to compromise on any issues.

    Bajans ,we need our country back.

    @,Patrick B, and Sue,D, hail , hail, so much to work from, well done.

    Reply
  6. Alex3 June 22, 2015 at 1:32 pm

    I am a long time repeat visitor to Barbados going back to 1980.
    Over the years I have seen a recklessness evolve on the roads by PSVs and ZRs that makes my hair stand on end.
    The degree to which they are speeding, racing and passing in just a most dangerous manner is appalling.
    When it comes to ZR operators, not only do they do the same but they overload their vehicles.
    Following the death of my wife in 2011, I brought my family down in 2012 in order for them to see what she so loved about Barbados as do I.
    On the way back from Mount Gay we got a ZR.
    They packed 5 across the back, 4 in the next row with my grand daughter on my new i.e 5, they put 4 in the front row with my daughter on her husbands knee, 4 in the next row, one guy squatting on the floor another guy beside the driver plus the driver and money guy. Do the math.
    18 people in a ZR.
    There has to be consequences for bad decisions and behaviour in life and particularly in a public service such as this one.
    Oh, before I forget, a lot of Transport Board drivers are not much better.

    Reply

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