Transport Authority Attempts to Break the Law
In the last 24 hours the public of Barbados was apprised of the decision that several suspension letters issued to Public Service Vehicles (PSVs) by the Transport Authority had to be embarrassingly withdrawn. Although Chairman of the Transport Authority Ian Estwick is reported to be tight-lipped why the claw back was made, Chairman of the Association of Public Transport Operators (APTO) Kenneth Best – a former member of parliament – had no problem pointing to a violation of process by the Transport Authority supported in the Road Traffic and Transport Authority Act.
In a simple summarization of the matter – we have a private transportation system the authority has been unable to efficiently regulate for more than 40 years. The recent attempt to impose itself on the sector the Transport Authority mashed the crease by also breaking the law and had to squash the suspension letters issued. How did the Transport Authority led by a seasoned retired banker with access to the best legal opinion commit such an egregious error?
You cannot make this stuff up.
For years a copious amount of commentary has been dumped in the Barbados space about the sub culture that has resulted from an inefficiently regulated PSV sector. This blogmaster will not add EXCEPT to reassert the problem of the sector has its root in who are the beneficial owners of PSV permits. Does it makes sense asking former Ministers of Transport to elucidate on this matter? To be clear let us add the most recent incumbents – Johnny Tudor, George Payne, Gline Clarke , Michael Lashley et al.
It is widely known by the authorities that the practice of illegally leasing permits to others is an entrenched behaviour. With the stroke of a pen this could be dealt with by the remaining three insurance companies issuing insurance cover to PSVs by adding a clause to the policy agreement as follows:
All claims on the subject policy will be made null and void by the underwriter if evidence is found the vehicle is not operated or managed by the policyholder.
The time has come for good men and women to win back this island from the vice grip of a few greedy persons. We can be bertlike prioritizing the fixing of economic indicators, however, until we also improve the efficiency of transportation, water distribution, waste disposal, maintenance of roads, manning ports of entry to list a few, we are spinning top in mud.
Barbadians must become more active by intelligently speaking to issues every opportunity available.