The President of Association of Public Transport Operators (APTO) Morris Lee Friday issued a fresh warning to private Public Service Vehicle (PSV) operators in response to Thursday’s altercation between a route taxi driver and conductor, which followed an accident at University Hill, St Michael.
Warning that there was no room in the industry for lawlessness and uncouth behaviour, Lee condemned those responsible for yesterday’s ugly scene, which occurred sometime around 12:40 Thursday afternoon.
During a scuffle, captured on video, 34-year-old Swayne Browne of Marshall Land, Bank Hall, St Michael suffered injuries to his face and 29-year-old Tony Smith of Silver Hill, Christ Church, lacerations to the head and right hand.
Both men were warned of intended prosecution by police and were allowed to seek medical attention.
“That type of behaviour does not merit any type of support at any level. I have said this time and time again. There is absolutely no room in the industry for lawlessness or violence and they will never have our support,” Lee told Barbados TODAY, while calling on adults to set the right example for children.
“We often see videos with school children on the buses fighting. They are watching the adults so they [adults] have to be very mindful of what they are doing. The eyes of the public are on you, especially the children, so exhibit proper behaviour,” he further cautioned.
The APTO head said while PSV operators had to go through a series of tests and were required to provide a police certificate of character before they were hired, the onus was on owners to ensure their drivers towed the line.
“Yes you would have passed the necessary tests and have your police certificate of character, but you can have that and still have a temper or still have a bad attitude. And an environment can easily push you into a behaviour that doesn’t merit support,” Lee said.
He urged the drivers and conductors to carry out their duties in a decent and orderly fashion.
“The public should feel safe when travelling with you. The Transport Board isn’t able to transport all, so many rely on the PSVs, so do what you can to do it properly,” Lee advised.