Police are probing an altercation yesterday between a public service vehicle (PSV) conductor and three male students along the main road at Paynes Bay, St James.
It is alleged that the three students refused to pay the bus fare and attacked the minibus conductor with a cutlass.
Public Relations Officer of the Royal Barbados Police Force Acting Inspector Roland Cobbler today confirmed the incident, which resulted in the 36-year-old conductor, whose name has not yet been released, being injured by the three students of a northern secondary school. He received lacerations to both arms.
When Barbados TODAY visited the Lower Green van stand today, some PSV operators expressed their frustration with the rowdy behaviour of some of the students, with many of them calling for greater police presence in the terminals, van stands and on the buses.
One operator, who requested anonymity, said the behaviour of the students was getting out of hand.
“The school children give a lot of trouble on both the vans and Transport Board buses. They don’t know how to behave. When them catch the van and refuse to pay, you put them off, they wait until the van go long and throw big rocks through the window. That could injure anyone or even kill someone,” he said.
“They need to have an officer travelling in these buses and vans to keep the children in check. The bad behaviour is unacceptable now.”
However, the driver accused some PSV operators of encouraging this bad behaviour by attracting the students with the music they play.
“The Government give them a free bus to travel on and they don’t want to catch it. School children like music and that’s why they flock to the vans. The ZRs play music and that’s what attracts them.
“Some of the drivers are to blame to. They are driving and playing music [and] from the time they [students] hear, ‘bup bup bup bup’ them gone wild. So the . . . [drivers] encourage them and they take it on and do foolishness,” he added.
Similar sentiments were expressed by another driver, who also requested anonymity.
“The school children too out of hand though. As them don’t want to pay they do foolishness and they like a lot of rowdy driving and carrying on. I’m not making noise for 50 cents or 75 cents. If they bring it they do, if they don’t, let them go long. I don’t get in them things though. I lay low,” he stressed, while expressing shock at the latest violent incident.
“I heard about it only this morning on the radio and couldn’t believe it. This thing getting out of hand. I don’t work with anything so. I’m an old man now so I keep quiet,” the PSV operator said.