Stiff fines

psv operators speak out against harsh penalties being handed down

Judged on merit!

That’s how interim chairman of the Association of Public Transport Operators (APTO) Morris Lee believes magistrates should issue fines against public service vehicle (PSV) operators who find themselves before the law court.

Minister of Transport and Works Michael Lashley recently told PSV operators he would not seek to influence court decisions after operators complained that some magistrates were handing down excessive fines against them.

This was one of the grievances which the owners and operators raised when they met Lashley last week for talks on the structure of PSV operations here. The two sides also discussed the issuing of permits to oversaturated routes and
bus fares.

Lee has admitted that there are unruly drivers, who he argued should be dealt with to the full extent of the law. However, he contended that it was wrong to treat everyone as if they were chronic offenders.

Morris Lee
Morris Lee

“I would admit there are some PSV operators who continue to commit the same offences over and over again. However, I don’t think an operator who only has a few charges should be dealt with in the same way,” he told Barbados TODAY during an interview today.

“Also, I think the nature of the offences should also be taken into consideration. Take for example if a man had previous convictions for working without his badge, or for the bus not having a spare tire or a fire extinguisher, he should not be treated the same as an unruly operator who has chalked up repeated traffic convictions.”

In what appeared to be a position contrary to the one taken by Lee, when a Barbados TODAY team visited the Cheapside Bus Terminal most of the operators interviewed said they had no issues with the fines being handed down.

In fact, they said most of the PSV drivers and conductors who received those heavy fines deserved it.

“The fines ain’t too stiff. The drivers and conductors just ain’t learning,” one veteran minivan driver of 22 years stated.

“They just keep going back and doing the same thing over and over. I know that sometimes a fella would take a chance, but half of them that come after me got more charges than me.”

One ZR driver even boasted that he had gone seven years without going to court.

“You have to do the things that are right. All of us are out here hustling trying to make a dollar, but at the end of the day it isn’t going to make sense if the money I make during the week I have to end up paying back to the court,” the 16-year veteran explained.

“In all my years of driving ZR I’ve only been to court six times. You don’t have to break the law repeatedly.”

However, one minibus driver who also chose to remain anonymous said he believed the fines for overloading were too stiff. He said the law stated that the first five passengers over the limit should carry a $25 fine. Once past that limit, he said it was a further $25 per person.

“But when you get to court the magistrate charging you $1,000 for having eight passengers in excess. That is unfair man,” he argued.

7 Responses to Stiff fines

  1. Michelle Stephens
    Michelle Stephens September 24, 2015 at 3:14 am

    listen to some of ur own. its our lives u guys playing with daily. dont do the crime and dont pay the fine. DO THE RIGHT THING

  2. Alex Alleyne September 24, 2015 at 7:18 am

    Here is where a “ticket system” will put all at ease, because the amount of all offences with fines will be listed for one and all to see.
    Get into the “first world” Barbados.

  3. Observer September 24, 2015 at 7:40 am

    If you psv drivers would conduct you all selves in a professional manner when you guys are in the streets and stop being so selfish rude and distructive and direspectful you all wouldn’t be having so much problems as far I’m concerned the fines should be stiffer send a message maybe you guy’s smarting up

  4. sunshinecanada September 24, 2015 at 8:39 am

    Put ZR stops for them

  5. jrsmith September 24, 2015 at 12:43 pm

    Most drivers who are using vehicles ,not belonging to themselves always view an accident as let the insurance pay. Not only in Barbados this happens.
    My take on this , drivers should have a limit on the amount of offences they commit, before they are ban from driving, one issue , enforcement of court fines seems to be a joke in Barbados.
    As I said before ,any driver wanting to drive PSV, including the transport board buses, should pass a test which they pay for and given a special certificate.

    It seem as though these drivers , have no respect for the law and the courts, why, from the comments they themselves made to the media. Adding further I cannot understand how insurance companies are running they businesses in Barbados, they are insuring people who continuously break the law and the owners seem not to bother.
    That’s why we have a young lady struggling to get medical help at the moment, her family should sue the driver for her injuries.

  6. Alison Harewood
    Alison Harewood September 24, 2015 at 1:20 pm

    I agree that not all are bad, but the bad ones even though they maybe a minority, they do so much crap, it seems like it’s all of them. I catch the ZR’s almost 5 days a week to get to work and there are some of them that I would NOT get in, even if they were taking me for free. I caught one on Monday morning ZR360 (i think that’s the number), I can tell you, Mr Lee, without fear that I WILL NEVER catch that van again nor any that the guy that was driving it is driving. At 6:20am he hustling and he drove horrible. When I got out, I said to him, “Sir, I hope that the house you’re going to out, doesn’t burn down before you get there, you drove horrible and I will NEVER catch this van again. He just looked at me and stupsed his mouth. I think i heard the conductor calling him “Toe”. I’ve been travelling on them long enough now, that I know which vans to catch and which ones not to step foot in. So Mr Lee, ask your drivers and conductors to clean up their act and then you won’t have all these issues.

  7. Tony Waterman September 24, 2015 at 4:45 pm

    @Mr.Lee!!!! You are either a FOOL, A Liar, or an incompetent, ZR Drivers are the worst i have seen anywhere that i have travelled, true, it is not all resting on their shoulders as the ENFORCEMENT of the Motor vehicle and Road Traffic Act of Barbados STINKS ROYALLY.
    I have seen on many occassions, these guys stopping in the Center of the Road to pick up Passengers, whilst Blocking BOTH sides of Traffic so that the ZR behind can’t get ahead to pick up Passengers, this is RAMPANT.
    I have seen the Bush Hall Cross Rd. ZR Vans Reverse from Perfection Road to Spooners Hill to pick up Passengers coming from Popular Discounts, that’s a distance of at least 3-400 yds, i am sure that reversing that far on a heavily Travelled Road is Illegal under the LAW.
    The Transportation system in Barbados NEEDS to be REVAMPED under ONE Umbrella, get rid of those Dangerous ZR Vans, the Minimum Size allowed for transporting Passengers should be the size of the Yelloiw Busses, and then The Barbados Transport Board should become a Privately held and Run Corporation, Run by Board and with Government having TWO Seats on that Board.
    People who join the Corporation would become Shareholders.


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