Minibuses should be banned and replaced by 22 seater coaster buses

Dear Editor,

I refer to an article captioned “Berbice drivers decry new fines (07.11.06)”. There is no need for protest or an increase in fares, the solution is quite simple – do not break the law and there will be no fine to pay.

The crux of the matter is that minibus drivers have grown so accustomed to breaking the traffic laws that driving properly is a challenge for them at this point in time. Well brothers, time for a change in our driving style, time to slow down since too many of our valuable people are dying on the roads because of poor driving practices.

Hats off to Minister Rohee for piloting the legislative measure, since it is a measure that was long overdue. I honestly feel this man was undersold especially after my current research has unearthed the quantum of work he has done for Guyana in the global trade arena. I trust that there is an attempt now in the Home Affairs Ministry again, after Minister Gajraj, to strengthen the control in the systems in a real way and not with rhetoric. I would like to put on the table again, the time is ripe for us to ban minibuses and only import 22 seater coaster buses.

They are more reliable, safer and with the better roads we have can easily ply their trade for the paying public. Traditionally the minibuses as we know them were made as goods vehicles to carry boxes. However, a creative Asian businessman realised he could make millions by selling this unsafe vehicle to unsuspecting developing countries to ferry passengers.

The rest is history. Time for us to correct this historical wrong.

In concluding, all of us must have broken the traffic law sometime or the other in the past, be it consciously or unconsciously. Now is the time to be more aware of the traffic laws and ensure that we do not break them as consistently as we did in the past.

My only concern is that some traffic officers may use these new levels of fines to unfairly oppress drivers and thus there needs to be some monitoring mechanism to supervise the traffic policemen. High fines open the opportunity for greater abuse of the system by the traffic policemen and the persistent traffic law breakers.

Yours faithfully,

Sasenarine Singh

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