The permits of 20 public service vehicle (PSV) operators have so far been revoked.
And today, the chairman of the Barbados Transport Authority, Abdul Pandor, issued a fresh warning to these operators, who police say represent less than one per cent of vehicles on the island’s roads, but account for more than 50 per cent of all road traffic offences, to get their act together.
In total, there are over 25,000 traffic offences per year.
A tough-talking Pandor, who was flanked by two other representatives of the authority’s board, cautioned that lawless behaviour would not longer be tolerated on the country’s roads.
In this regard, he said the authority was looking to put another ten traffic inspectors on the streets in response to a slue of offences, including picking up passengers other than at a bus stop, carrying excess passengers and operating off the authorized route.
While warning the operators not to “take kindness for weakness”, Pandor also said there would be a “strict stance” in making sure PSV operators adhere to the wearing of uniforms.
In fact, he sought to warn uniform violators that they could be hauled before the court system.
Pandor also issued a similar warning to owners whose vehicles are operated by repeat offenders.
“If it means putting them off the road for a few days, suspending the permits for a few days, we intend to be serious about this because we see this as a precursor to getting the whole system in order,” the Transport Authority chairman said.
Pandor also put owners on notice that they would not be allowed to get away with hiring persons with several traffic convictions or those deemed to be reckless drivers.
“Too often everybody going down on the drivers, but we feel the owners must be made to bear a burden. If the drivers behave badly, we are going to suspend the permits from some period as the owner must take some responsibility,” he added.
Station Sergeant Rodney Inniss said pirating was a major problem and he called on members of the public play their part in helping to stamp out this illegal practice of operating unauthorized private vehicles as PSVs.
Alex Linton, who also sits on the board of the Transport Authority, also commented on the problem, saying there has recently been a tremendous reduction in pirating on the Proute Route since several offenders were brought before the disciplinary committee of the authority.
However, he said the incidence of pirate taxis at Grantley Adams International Airport, which had diminished at one point, recently increased.