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Reckless driving by passenger vans and overloaded trucks

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Tue Nov 18, 2014

Editor: I arrived at the scene 60 seconds after a passenger van turned over 90 degrees and ended up on its side. When I got to there, witnesses to the accident were in a visible state of shock; some too scared to go close for fear of confronting carnage. Many were saying that the van was racing with another, resulting in the driver eventually losing control.{{more}}

The sad thing about this incident is that it is not uncommon. All categories of vehicles will continue to be involved in accidents and many of them will be caused by reckless driving. The frequency of occurrence of such accidents seems to be greater with passenger vans than with other vehicles. I make this claim from my own empirical evidence.

The public transportation (by that I mean privately owned vans that transport the public) sector is too important to economic development to be allowed to remain largely unregulated. I appreciate the work the traffic department is doing to minimize vehicular accidents, but I feel more vigilance is required to lessen the incidents of passenger vans endangering the lives of passengers and other road users.

The import bill for fuel and parts to operate our total vehicle stock is high and significant national savings could be realized if there is greater use of public transport. We should not allow this sector to just happen and evolve into an unmanageable beast. A safe, reliable and comfortable public transport system could greatly improve efficiencies in the productive sectors, facilitate hassle free commuting of students and effect national savings on the importation of fuel and vehicle parts. The possibility of this becoming a reality will remain remote if passenger vans continue to be overcrowded and the drivers continue to drive recklessly. Taming this beast is imperative.

Another observation: The transportation of the heavy white sacks of cement on the windward side of the island is a serious accident waiting to happen. The trucks are often over loaded and some of them are clearly incapable of performing the task. The cement sacks are precariously perched on the trucks, an act that is simply tempting fate.

We need to fix these things now – let’s not wait until the worst happens then say, “I knew that would happen sooner or later.”

Tony Regisford

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