EDITORIAL: Stop your reckless habits
Public Service Vehicles (PSVs) have long been under the scrutiny of the Barbadian public. Not all operators are guilty of breaking the road traffic laws, but the incidences of unlawful behaviour that have occurred over the years with regard to PSVs have touched every aspect of society. Many road users have borne witness to lawless acts which took place on board some of these vehicles with little or no attempt to prevent them from happening on the operators’ part.
Sadly, it is encouraged because these operators in question think mainly about the bottom line, in order, they believe, to ensure their survival in a very competitive environment. However, there are other growing nuisances on our roads which are of grave concern to everyone – motorcycles. These vehicles have long been criticised for endangering the public through reckless manoeuvres and other dangerous habits.
Many motorists can attest to encountering one or the other of these offending vehicles at least once a day as they go about their business.
We see some on these bikes in the process of doing wheelies along highways, especially at night, and some totally disregard road rules and put the public, whether drivers or pedestrians, at risk. Some PSVs, too, play dangerous, not to mention annoying games daily as they refuse to pull over at authorised bus stops and lay-bys to pick up and drop off their passengers, while not using the appropriate signals to alert other drivers of their intentions. Also, many onlookers complain of obscenities that assault them if they dare make their disgust at these actions known. Several younger people then come to believe that this behaviour is acceptable and hence sometimes mirror what they see.
Very often, the suggestion is offered that the police should do more to stop these offenders in the act but, upon consideration, one realises that our police are doing the best that they can with limited resources and also cannot be everywhere at once.
Officials have been expressing concern at motorcyclists, who are not insured and others who, through their actions, can lose control with disastrous consequences. Therefore, we urge PSV operators and motorcyclists to ‘stop their reckless habits and treasure their lives and the lives of passengers and pedestrians’. Even though several issues have been brought to light with regard to private vehicles, they become more stark with vehicles that are charged with dealing with transporting citizens from one point to another and both PSVs and motorcycles have separate reasons for their popularity.
However, the popularity of these PSVs and motorcycles is not in question. What will be the final effect on the fabric of society if the offending operators are allowed to continue flouting the laws of Barbados without ramifications? The laws must be further enforced so that the operators, as well as members of society, can learn and respect what has made this country a force to be reckoned with. This problem cannot be solved overnight, because it has been escalating for a number of years, but with the right action taken and commitment, Barbados can get on track with ensuring that its citizens remain safe.