October 19, 2012
Other more serious problems with public transportation system

Fri, Oct 19, 2012

The Traffic Department of the Police Force recently announced their intention to enforce a law that requires that omnibus operators install garbage receptacles in their vehicles.

It seems that the police are finally responding to the call of the Solid Waste Management Unit to more aggressively enforce the Litter Act.{{more}}

We support this call, as we recognise that littering, including people tossing garbage out of moving vehicles is a problem which needs to be addressed.

Omnibus operators have responded to the announcement by asking where should the garbage receptacles be placed.

But that should not be a factor, since most omnibuses have signs posted that tell passengers that eating or drinking is not allowed.

The prohibition of food consumption in omnibuses should reduce the need for persons to toss garbage out of vehicle windows. Further, the act of littering is indicative of a greater problem, rooted in a lack of respect for self, others, and the environment.

But we believe that there are more important problems with the nation’s public transportation system that need to be addressed urgently.

Certainly, the police can enforce the law that prohibits the playing of amplified music at very loud levels, as is done in some omnibuses.

There must also be a law prohibiting omnibus owners from installing speaker boxes with 12-inch woofers, and tweeters, with their high frequency, eardrum piercing sounds, just over passengers’ heads.

These speaker systems are often powered by high-tech amplification devices that result in a thumping sensation in one’s chest and the ringing of bells in the ear.

Passengers who complain are often frowned upon, and, in some cases, asked to disembark. Certainly, passengers know where the nightclubs are and should not be forced to endure in omnibuses music at a level akin to a discothèque.

Is there a law that the police could enforce or recommend regarding the modification of the seats inside omnibuses, often with the intention of housing speaker boxes and fitting more passengers, but resulting in the reduction of comfort and safety of passengers?

What about the fact that most omnibuses do not have a fire extinguisher and do not have marked emergency exits, even as exit through the back is made impossible because of speaker boxes and raised seats?

Is there a law that bans the omnibuses that do not have sliding windows in the rear half of the vehicle, as if they were designed for cargo, but are in fact being used to transport passengers?

Do the police think that current legislation is sufficient to govern who should be allowed to operate an omnibus? Is possession of an “H licence” sufficient? Shouldn’t there be other criteria, such as a minimum age, years of experience, safety record as a driver that one should meet before being allowed to drive a public transportation vehicle?

Yes, SEARCHLIGHT does believe that omnibus operators should make some provision for the disposal of trash generated by their passengers. But we also believe that there are other more serious problems in the sector that the police continue to overlook.