There should be a conductor on every minibus for safety reasons

This letter was published in our edition of August 20, but unfortunately the end of it was inadvertently omitted, so we are reproducing the entire letter here.

Dear Editor,

For a while now commuters have been facing all sorts of inhuman acts from minibus operators without any hope of travelling without fear. Apart from being overcharged, travelling in an  overloaded bus, reckless driving, loud music and constant abuse when objecting to these offences, there has been another dangerous development.

All fifteen-seater minibuses (the new pitbull buses hold twenty I think), are supposed to have a conductor/conductress, and for a while now I have been seeing buses working without conductors and the driver would have to perform the duties of the conductor. Editor, I would like to believe that this is illegal and suspect that the Guyana Police Force Traffic Department is aware of the situation. If it is illegal, I am wondering why the drivers are not being hauled in front of the court.

Travelling on the West Coast of Demerara one can see countless buses operating that way. I have spoken to a few people and they all complain about this new trend and make mention of some particular drivers who regularly do this and are driving dangerously.

Depending on the time, we all know that when it’s the so-called ‘happy-hour‘ there is a mad rush by the minibuses to collect as much money as they can, and whilst doing this drivers can be seen driving at reckless speed and counting money/making change at the same time. Now I know for sure at the said time all their concentration would be mostly focused on the change that they are giving out and not on their driving, and that temporary focus on the money could cause an accident.

If there can be laws against driving and operating music equipment or being on a cell phone, perhaps the law-makers could look in on this issue too – or will they wait until an accident happens and then rush to remedy this new phenomenon.

Yours faithfully,
Sahadeo Bates

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