How Many Sons Has Father Crab?

Submitted by Mario Herbert – GoWEB Caribbean

The minibus situation in Barbados has grown unbearable for some of us. Recorded music is not supposed to be played in these PSV’s (Public Service Vehicles), only the live radio stations. However, there are several Dance-hall CD’s in circulation featuring Father Crab, who shouts profanity and vulgarly throughout the entire CD. Passengers are subjected to hearing Father Crab “large off” all of the men who carry their own gun, and cannot be told what to do, while playing songs like “Press Trigger”. This not only promotes violence, but rebellion against authority too.

On one occasion, while Father Crab was encouraging this type of rebellious behaviour, a male passenger on the bus threatened to assault a female passenger, and when the conductor and driver forced him to disembark, he tried to break the window next to the aforementioned female passenger. When the conductor expressed concern about the window, he proceeded to brandish a knife, telling the conductor that he was prepared to kill him. I found all of this ironic, because the male passenger was simply acting out the music which was being blasted in the bus throughout this incident.

Female passengers are also subjected to hearing Father Crab explicitly talk about their private parts. This is not only degrading to self respecting women, but unhealthy for the children that ride on these vehicles.

What really puzzles me though, is how come just about any PSV I board, plays these Father Crab CD’s? Do all PSV operators have a pre-disposition to Dance-hall music, irrespective of age? And even so, why the profane Father Crab CD’s, laced with curse-words and vulgarity? Father Crab seems to have many sons. How many sons has Father Crab? I am NOT one of them. Are you?

34 comments

  • Certainly the time has come to clean up the PSV sector?

    Why should they be placed in terminals with no toilet facilities; in cases where the facility is woefully inadequate.

    If we treat the people like animals they are bound to behave like such.

    The government came into office promising to do something to improve the sector. To date, AN EMPTY PROMISE

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  • The PSV sector is far too important a complement to our transport sector to let it fall by the wayside. It would only encourage more people to buy even more cars and our roads are already horribly congested. Eventually we shall also have to abide by the increasing strength of anti-pollution policies.

    It would be heartening to see the police and Government actively help Mr. Lee and Ms. Forde with cleaning up their sector. If these too people are unfit to run the organization, then they should be congratulated for their efforts, honourably removed from the positions and put into a managerial (?) role so that others more capable can run it.

    The bus stands are always full even when the rain is pouring heavily. The PSV sector is needed because the Transport Board simply does not satisfy all of the publics needs in a timely fashion.

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  • I have a remedy for the PSV sector.
    1.) Conditions at the terminals need to improved to near or 1st world status
    2.) There would be a government/private sector body to manage the sector
    3.) All owners of PSV’s MUST be a member of this body
    4.) All employees(i.e drivers and conductors) must be registered with this body and
    approved by the body.
    5.) All drivers and conductors MUST at all times wear their uniform
    6.) The only music to be played is from the standard audio equipment provided
    by the manufacturers.

    7 .) Drivers MUST adhere strictly to the Traffic laws of Barbados
    8 ) A demerit system will be used to evaluate the behaviour of each team/employee
    9.) Each PSV will line up in their particular route lane and follow each other in the
    terminal when loading
    10.) The duty and taxes will be adjusted to make it more profitable for employers
    These are just some of the suggestions I have off the top of my head. At the moment Lee and Forde have little control over the PSV’S as all of them are not members of the association, therefore the others do as they like and this in turn encourage the ones in the association to break their code of conduct to compete. Unless and until their behaviour in cleaned up, I would not suggest that the government do anything to assist them. When proper laws are put in place and emplemented, then and only then will there be any improvement to the method of madness that now is on the roads of Barbados. Heavy penalties must be administered to the continued offenders. Something MUST change, this government cannot allow things to go on as usual, everyday the problem is becoming more acute and it is just a matter of time these guys see themselves above the law. They are now on the back foot and it is time to negotiate and take control of this situation.

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  • Let me apologise for the length of the above article but after an incedent I saw yesterday, the problem is more acute than many of us think

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  • yes man but the government have to respect that industry and the people that work in it, how the Hell can you expect that they can be expected only to get a $1.50 a fare buy fuel pay drivers and conductors pay for the same van, they are subsidising the transport system look at how they are transporting tourist around the island for US $0.75 a person no where in the us can you go for 75 cents the problem is that the government say that they want to change things but if they change things who will pay the right price for transport. another thing every minister that have to deal with the the operators of the ZRs and Minibuses hate these people because they don’t like the lile man/woman getting through in life look at all the big ups they charge what they like for their services and no body complain but every body complain about the music on the vans where the drivers stop and what not, with the kind of wage these people get is it any surprise that it attract the sort of people we see doing the job

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  • michael
    Unless you live on another planet, you know that the bad behaviour of the PSV’s on the roads of Barbados cannot be allowed to continue. If you want the government to assist you, then you MUST adhere to the laws of the country, plain and simple. Therefore methods have to be put in place to bring some level of decency to the PSV’s and then government can look at merging you into the national transport system. Right now the PSV culture is seen as rebels, this must change. Recently, because a passenger refused to allow a third person to sit in a seat designed for two, the conductor cursed that girl so bad that she cried. This type of behaviour must stop. I heard a conductor tell a passenger to go down further in an already crowded bus and because he refused the conductor told him he would drag him out of the bus. this type of behaviour cannot continue.

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  • michael u must be crazy.

    lawlessness here in bim, and especially on the psv”s i out of control

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  • “Unless you live on another planet, you know that the bad behaviour of the PSV’s on the roads of Barbados cannot be allowed to continue”I agree with you, i did not say that we want bad behavior

    2 ” If you want the government to assist you, then you MUST adhere to the laws of the country” The law is the law it should not be used as a bribe to get people to do the right thing ,and every one should adhere to the law

    3″Therefore methods have to be put in place to bring some level of decency to the PSV’s and then government can look at merging you into the national transport system”There is no need to merge them into the transport system,there should be a single body that regulate all aspect of PSVs road activity.
    The private operators should have a national body or organization(mandated) to which they all should subscribe too which would lobby government on their behalf to set fare levels,fare should not be the same as in the trans port board because the TB is government owned which mean automatically fares are subsides
    any body behaving in the manner you describe should loose their license as a PSV operator people have to start acting like adults and not like an adolescence
    the government have to realise that transport is not cheap,because every body treat transport as a casual activity and not as a serious business that is why we have what we have and this bad bad behavior lies firmly with government.How can you have people working year after year with no increase in wages and everything around you is going up in cost it is a joke, ask the ministers if they have worked for decades with out a pay increase

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  • Michael, the PSV sector is private enterprise. You really think that they are losing money? If they did, they wouldn’t operate. Don’t forget that it’s a purely cash business, so the only way you can tax them is through the licensing system. Wake up and smell the roses.

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  • The point we all miss sometimes; it is not about whether the PSV sector is making money, it is about 1). Does the sector need regulating or not? 2). Is the sector forced to cut corners as a consequence of the disorganization in managing the sector?

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  • What about the drivers who are still driving with 200+ traffic offenses?
    Who is to blame for this?
    What about the insurance companies who are making the operators stick to the same pool of drivers?
    Who will we blame for this?

    This PSV issue needs to be addressed by ALL parties!!

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  • David you have hit the nail on the head and this is what most persons are missing,good organization is missing and it is the government call to put such organization in place but they prefer not to do so as long as we have this nonsense going no body is looking at what it is costing the country,you cant plan well if you have not good records

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  • ps it is called good house keeping

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  • If a survey is done on who are the owners of PSVs it may help the public to understand why this bad behaviour continues. I believe that half of the reports done by the police ever reach the courts. A lot of phone calls and back room deals get these cases stop before reaching the courts.
    I watch every day as ZRs and minibuses are reported for going off route on a particular road. The next day the same vans are reported for being off route on the same road with the same driver. These cases cannot be getting to court because the vans are reported sometimes three times a week
    Who own the most of those vans running the Speightstown route?

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  • The love of money is the root of all evil, but the lack thereof can also lead to evil manifestations in some.

    If these workers are threated better with higher pay, alongside better working conditions, then the sector would attract more responsible workers.

    I do believe that owners are to blame as well, because they cry for increase bus fares as the operating cost is high, which includes the purchase and maintenance of expensive speakers, amplifiers, car stereos, and CD’s of vulgar music which disrespects their passengers.

    Since the playing of loud recorded music is against the law. The time has come where owners should have to pay for loud music being played on their vehicles. The loud record music would stop immediately.

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  • Call a spade...

    The ZRs provide an essential service to the country. But their total disregard for the rules and courtesy of the road endanger us, and their lewd, violent and lawless sub-culture threaten our society. But we know all this and we have discussed it for nearly two decades. There is only one way to fix this problem: declare war on these people. Bringing charges against the drivers is a waste of time. They collect convictions the way boy scouts collect badges. It enhances their reputation. The Government needs to hit the owners where it hurts most: in the wallet. And they need to hit them so hard that they drop to their knees. Fines of $10,000 or cancellation of licenses for up to 5 years. Anything less will not be taken seriously. Will it happen? Not in our lifetime. the ZR owners are clearly “untouchable”. One suspects they pay handsomely for this protection. Who does the money go to? Your guess is as good as mine.

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  • It’s all going downhill welcome to the Third World yet when standing on Horse Hill, waiting for a bus, when I see a van coming I say YAY! thank heavens for the vans.

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  • Yatter! yatter! yatter! Blah ! blah blah!. Something we are past master of. Come next year, and the year after, we will still be discussing the PSV situation. What I cannot understand is that some previous study had shown that the Public Transport System is Barbados would be best run by one entity, namely The government’s Transport Board.Starting in 1955 the Government of Barbados started the take of of omnibuses from the private concessionaires,and this exercise was finally completed some time in 1978/79 when the Rocklyn and Elite Bus Companies were the last casualties. At the same time while government was in the process of nationalising the transport system of Barbados on one hand it was issuing bus permits to another body of private concessionaires,thus defeating the whole object of the exercise. The government ,and the authorities,in the process has created a monster that is the big stick which is cutting its ass, and it hasn’t the balls to enforce laws already in place to bring the situation under control in the same fashion that it used to control the concessionaires of yesteryear. We have just set up an Transport Authority, and its still business as usual.The taxpayer,yet again, is paying another lot to do nothing.
    I cannot remember ever seeing a musty, aggressive,abusive ,untidy drink swilling while on the job,conductor or driver working for any of those old concessionaires.
    The only way that we will be able to solve this indiscipline is to scrap the whole Minibus and ZR mode of transport. Either that, or insist that no one is allowed to operate more than one unit, and he/she must be the driver.

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  • Bosun
    Food for thought. Correct is right. I remember as a girl, my mother would send me to pick a tamarind rod and she would cut my ass wid that same tamarind rod. In this instance the issuing of permits randomnly is the ‘cat -o-nine- tail’. Ya in lie. But de horse already out de stable, so wah we gun do?

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  • The issue here isn’t whether or not the Government has to take some of the blame.l EVERYONE has to take some of the blame, including the passengers who encourage the foolishness by saying and doing nothing (If you call the police from your cell-phone everytime you heard a curse-word or the music was too loud, things would change too).

    The real issue here is the fact that in my opinion the operators are doing nothing to meet the government half-way. They are continuing to play the vulgar music at high volumes and all the other reckless things. If they were playing the radio stations (like they’re supposed to) and a passenger heard something unacceptable on the van, the Government would be forced to persecute the radio stations, not the PSV’s. But how do you expect someone to meet you halfway when you aren’t doing the same. Not wearing uniforms, dragging on the road and holding up traffic, installing competition-class stereos, and then expect the authorities who you defy to give you proper shelter and bathroom facilities.

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  • @GoWeb

    Say what you want the buck stops with the government.

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  • I got into a mini-bus a few days ago, on the journey to B’town Two young men stopped the van, one guy had two guinesses in his hand, while the other guy had a plastic cup with some liquid in it. These two guys got into the van and sat next to the driver, the one with the guiness, gave one to the driver while he was driving. I immediately pressed the bell and disembarked; I then called the police traffic hot line, I’m not sure what happened next. This kind of behaviour MUST stop, these drivers have people’s life in the hand and behaving very reckless.

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  • @Bosun The only way that we will be able to solve this indiscipline is to scrap the whole Minibus and ZR mode of transport. Either that, or insist that no one is allowed to operate more than one unit, and he/she must be the driver

    ———————————————————–

    That solution is ….BRILLIANT, the BEST solution offered thus far and likely the ONLY one that will find a suitable result, save putting the Defence Force to monitor the PSVs and distribute ‘penalties’ as suitable.

    Well Done Bosun!!!

    That said, the only problem now is……who owns them now and will they give up their concessions?

    THAT is the crux…who…..

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  • Mr.Editor, top clarify…my vote goes to this, from Bosun:

    ”insist that no one is allowed to operate more than one unit, and he/she must be the driver”

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  • @Bosun
    There are other alternatives. Randomly send plain-clothes police officers to catch the buses. Assign some police officers to just ride on buses all day and report them. They will think twice if they can’t tell who is police from normal commuter.

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  • @GoWeb, do you think that these PSV workers have any respect or fear for policemen? Only last week a caller to one of the programmes, reported an incident where a PSV driver had the road block and would not comply with a policemans order ,for a while, after being pulled up for not wearing a seat belt.

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  • GoWeb
    Babados is only 166 sq.mls and probably a lil smaller by now. Everybody know the police and the police know everybody. That won’t be effective for too long. Any other ideas?

    Bosun
    Da got ‘mock-police’ too ya know? Doan laff.

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  • @Bonny Peppa: “Babados is only 166 sq.mls and probably a lil smaller by now.

    Bonny, please explain…

    Why would Barbados shrink?

    Is the ocean really raising that quickly?

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  • chris
    LOLLLLLLLLLLLLLL

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  • Some of these PSV’s have police connections and are declared the untouchables. This thing more deep than many people think, even politicians involve.

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  • One of the major problems we face as a nation which gives the PSV drivers a license to do as they like, is the chronic tardiness in bringing their cases before the law courts.If we were to institute instant fines on them, hurting them in the pocket immediately, they would think twice about flouting the law. There was a time when the bus Concessionaires had to pay the fines incurred by bus conductors, maybe we need to call the owners into account.
    But I ‘ve always contend that all PSV employees , ie conductors and drivers, should be made to undergo a government sponsored training course before granting them licenses. Have you ever observe those drivers who transport Sir David’s and others horses to the Garrison and back , they are more careful with their animal cargo,than most of the PSV drivers are with their human cargo. Perhaps before PSV drivers are granted a license they should under a short stint with Hopefield Stables.

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  • Bosun
    good point again. You real brite ya, chawwww. But anyway, what is your take on ‘night court’ to help ease the back log at present? I all fa it.

    But you feel dat dem horse-chauffeurs could play de ass wid any a David Seale horses’ lives? Dem know betta than dat. But I know of two separate cases involving ZR vans where persons lost their lives. ‘Midnight Assassin” is on of the said ZR’s where about three or four persons died and the driver did a lil time in “Her Majesty’s Pleasure Hotel”. and is out and about now like nutton happen. Human life seems to cost nothing the way these sentences are handed down. I knew that driver and he was a very reckless driver. That was an accident just waiting to happen for a long time. He is now more christian than Pope Paul, after the fact. Sickening.

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  • 198 Traffic convictions. Killed a pedestrian .Walked away from the scene of the accident. Failed to turn up for court hearings. And for all his troubles he was fined $5000. Must be a Lodge Man. LLoyd Linton reborn.

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  • Bosun
    Driver’s licence revoked for 5yrs. i think. Gotta be a Lodge man.

    Like

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