Last week a 62 year old man lost his life when a minibus ran a red light at Eagle Hall in St. Michael. All reports suggest the driver is known to the courts of Barbados and has been for some time. The easy reaction by the public is to continue to criticize the PSV sector, we have been doing it for nearly 40 years. It seems like yesterday when the late Prime Minister Tom Adams legislated draconian taxes on the sector which was interpreted by a few people at the time as a surrender to the lawlessness which was beginning to show way back then.
If Barbadians are honest about how we use our highways and byways it is obvious there is an indiscipline which has become pervasive. Private vehicles run red lights with the same frequency and acceptance as the PSVs. It is an every day occurrence to observe motor cyclists performing ‘wheelies’ between lanes of traffic. What about those filter lanes on the ABC Highway? The vehicle in the filter lane is suppose to enter the right lane when there is an opening. In Barbados it is not uncommon for motorists to ignore the rule of giving way to the right. A classic case of how uncaring our road users have become is to observe those who make a left and a sharp right at the Belle island’ to avoid having to wait in lines of traffic. There are many examples which can be cited which define the problem which authorities have been unable to resolve.
Who should we blame for the breakdown in order on our roads? All Barbadians must be responsible road users however we know that enforcement is always necessary once human beings are part of anything. The indiscipline on our roads is a symptom of how values have corroded over the years on our small island. Bear in mind that an orderly society use to be a distinguishing characteristic feature of Barbados compared to other places. We all knew that it was only a matter of time before a vehicle ‘burse’ a red light and a tragedy occurred. Although we are sorry one person died and thirty two were injured this time around, it could have been worse.
BU holds the view that the government and police are unable to rein in the terror which is currently experienced on our roads any day of the week. If we observe how government through the ministry of transportation and works continues to manage road design, the evidence is there. Take a look at Warrens which was highlighted on sister blog BajanFlick – Engineering Madness @WARRENS. Our government through its several agencies made the decisions at Warrens, a DISGRACE to human intelligence!
There is every probability another mass casualty accident will occur if nothing changes and it wont.