Commissioner Darwin Dottin, Give Us A Status Report On 'Operations Road Order Maintenance' Please!

It is a delight to give this welcome address at this timely workshop in which managers of the Health Sector and the Barbados Licensing Authority are being exposed to techniques on how to effect positive change in their personal and professional lives. I said timely, since it is taking place when one can evidently observe the major changes being implemented in the Health Sector. The QEH and the Drug Service are but two examples. Changes are also evident at the Licensing Authority where its services are being computerized and other structural realignments are taking place. This improvement exercise is going on at a time when the Royal Barbados Police Force is aiming to crack down on traffic offences through its Operation Road Order Maintenance Programme. I am sure that this exercise has impacted tremendously on the work at Licensing Authority . .

Source: Welcome Address by Mr. Frederick Forde- P.S Training at The Personal Excellence Development Workshop for Middle and Top Level Managers from The Black Rock Polyclinic and the Licensing Authority at The Almond Bay Conference Centre, Hastings Christ Church onThursday October 30th, 2003


Commissioner Darwin Dottin of the Royal Barbados Police Force

In 2003, a newly appointed Commissioner of Police of the Royal Barbados Police Force, Darwin Dottin, announced to an expectant Barbados that he would implement Operations Road Order Maintenance. The reaction from the public was enthusiastic because the recklessness of the Public Service Vehicles (PSVs) is one which had challenged the society for many years before his appointment. The Ministry of Education and the Board of Management of schools had complained, pedestrians and motorists had complained; even the owners of the PSVs had registered their hopelessness at managing their drivers and conductors. On a daily basis PSV’s would be seen stopping where there were no bus stops, carrying triple the number of passengers, and worse of all the nefarious practice of school girls engaged in sexual acts with PSV workers on our side roads and in parks.

It is now 2007. So what happened?

Depending on who we talk to, we hear different viewpoints on the issue of lawlessness by PSVs. There is the view that the police need to be more aggressive by enforcing the law. Many users of the road on a daily basis witness the blatant disregard which PSV workers have for our traffic regulations, and lament the police never seem to be present to witness the law being broken. There is another view to which BU subscribe. Many of our PSVs are owned by influential people in our society who are able to use the system to protect themselves. The PSVs are known to be owned by politicians, lawyers, doctors, civil servants, Indians …

It has been alleged that many PSV licenses are acquired through the passing of money under the table. We continue to be flabbergasted that we have such a reprehensible system that would allow the Minister of Transportation and Works to literally give away PSV licenses without answering to anyone. (There should be some independent Transport Authority which is charged with overseeing our transport system) Public transportation is too important to the functioning of a modern and productive society that it should use such an ad hoc approach to how it is managed. The great irony is to observe the same people who are charged with managing the public transportation system are the cause of its neglect!

How difficult is it for the Ministry of Transportation and Works to establish a code of conduct to govern PSVs – the experience of the driver, the uniform of the driver, quality controls to manage the vehicles, etc? Tomorrow as we drive around Barbados, we will witness traffic offenses by PSVs continuing to  deteriorate with time. Can Commissioner Darwin Dottin honestly report to a Barbados public that he has arrested the problems which Operation Road Order Maintenance was suppose to fix?

What grade should we give to Commissioner Darwin Dottin before he demits office, is it really his fault?


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7 thoughts on “Commissioner Darwin Dottin, Give Us A Status Report On 'Operations Road Order Maintenance' Please!

  1. In Barbados we claim to be so intelligent and literate, etc., and we all know that these buses rule the system because of who own them. We have witnessed with our own eyes PSV drivers with multiple reports being tapped on the knuckles by magistrates because of …

  2. I knew of one driver with 147 charges against him, you think that he should outside walking around, no he should be in prison.

  3. Whenever I think of the days I had to rely on PSVs I cringe. Even as a teenager, I was never comfortable with the loud music, aggressive-road-rage-sparking driving, nor the unreliability…I often wondered if I could get to my destination in one piece! I suffered through the ‘milkshakes’, and the ‘rocking the baby’, but it is when I became a driver and had to look at PSV driver antics with new perspectives. There is what I call ‘a hole in one’ which is when one PSV is overtaking another after about 5 minutes of trying and has and takes one shot to pass, with another vehicle barreling at them without any hint of slowing down.

    Then there is the ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ where having been blocked in passing by a PSV looking for and collecting passengers in the middle of the road, the PSV behind darts out to overtake as more than one passenger tries to board the lead PSV.

    ‘Lights out’ is when ‘light at the end of a tunnel’ is performed around a bend.

    Finally, there is ‘the casket’ when the above end in a tragic accident causing death.

    My heart goes out to all those who have ever been in a PSV involved in an accident; and also to all those who really have no choice but to use that form of transportation.

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