Public Service Vehicle (PSV) drivers and conductors who continue to act recklessly and break the law, may soon have to find other means of employment.
The Barbados Transport Authority (BTA) issued the warning to PSV operators today that changes were coming as it issued a public apology to the commuters injured in Tuesday’s tragic accident involving a PSV.
Following a specially convened two-hour meeting at the Licensing Authority, the Pine, St Michael, BTA Chairman Abdul Pandor told Barbados TODAY that several initiatives had been proposed in an effort to clean up the image of PSV operators.
“We discussed a number of the issues confronting the industry at this time and explored the options of addressing these in order to effect change. In particular, we will be examining the introduction of annual renewal of permits, as well as the terms and conditions related to the issues of these permits,” Pandor revealed.
“We are looking to see that everyone comes in and complies and that they have the necessary insurance, documentation and such every year.”
He said the renewal of permits would apply to PSV owners, as well as drivers and conductors.
“We want to do both the owners and then we are going to look at the drivers . . . ” Pandor added.
While admitting that discussions were still at the “embryonic stage”, he revealed that under the new terms and conditions, PSV operators would be forced to obtain Police Certificates of Character, among other things.
He hinted that failure to live up to these terms and conditions could result in an operator’s permit being denied.
In a statement following Tuesday’s accident, in which 21 people were injured, including 14-year-old Springer Memorial student Zakiyah Defreitas whose left forearm was severed Pandor said:
“As Chairman, on behalf of the members of the board and management of the BTA, we are saddened by the tragic accident which occurred on the afternoon of Tuesday, June 9, in the River Terminal.
“The injuries sustained to the students were grave and severe, with life-threatening consequences for those impacted. We want to offer our sincere sympathy during this period of distress.”
Pandor also reiterated the BTA’s commitment, as the statutory agency charged with the responsibility to regulate public transportation, to ensuring an efficient and timely service, as well as a safe environment for commuters, both adults and school children.