Our Readers' Opinions
March 29, 2011
In support of the writer of: ‘A serious message to minibus drivers’


Editor: I am a deeply concerned parent. I write in support of your appeal to those minibus drivers who do not display the level of respect due to their passengers.

I, too, have had problems with a few, and as a way of protest, I do not travel in their buses.{{more}}

Our young drivers, especially, need to go through some sort of training before they are granted a license to operate a minibus. Here is where the minibus association should come in, if there is one.

Yes, they are providing a meaningful service, but that does not mean that they have a right to be disrespectful to any of their passengers.

Our people who use this service need to be educated also. They need to understand that not everywhere they stand and put out their hands is a bus stop. I believe if our drivers would refuse to stop other than at the bus stop when in Kingstown, the passengers will eventually get the message and comply with the rules.

When we travel outside of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, we will gladly comply with the rules of other countries, but here we want to disobey law and order.

I wish to share the regulations which are laid down for those drivers of public service vehicles, as they relate to the law.

CAP. 355

41. Special regulations for drivers of public service vehicles:

The driver of a public service vehicle shall comply with the following regulations-

(1) He shall not use a horn or other instrument for the purpose of calling passengers.

(2) He shall not smoke after objection made by any passenger.

(3) He shall not make or use to any passenger any abusive language or insulting gestures.

(4) He shall not call out to or otherwise importune any person to travel by such service vehicle.

(5) He shall not loiter for the purpose of procuring passengers or otherwise.

(6) He shall not, while waiting to pick up passengers, race his engine or make any loud or unnecessary noise with his engine.

(7) He shall, at the request of any passenger, immediately stop in order to enable such passenger to alight:

Provided that he does not thereby cause an obstruction:

Provided for further than on roads where omnibus stopping places are prescribed he shall not pick up or set down passengers elsewhere than at such place.

(8) He shall not, in the town of Kingstown, draw up his omnibus on a road other than at a public stand appointed under these regulations, except for the purpose of taking on or discharging passengers or cargo.

(9) He shall maintain the vehicle in a clean and sanitary condition.

(10) He shall carry at least one inflated tyre fixed to the rim, spare wheel or other device, capable of being fitted to a wheel or axle.

(11) He shall at all times, when in charge of his vehicle, wear his badge conspicuously and in such a manner that the whole of the writing thereon is distinctly legible. This badge shall be issued to him by the Licensing Authority free of charge in the first instance, but if any driver to whom a badge has been issued satisfies the Licensing Authority that his badge has been lost or defaced, the Licensing Authority shall, on payment of a fee of fifty cents, issue to him a duplicate of such badge. Each badge shall have embossed on it the number of the driver’s permit.

I am not too sure if these regulations have been amended, because I cannot recall seeing any omnibus driver with any such badge as laid out in (11). And the cost to replace a badge is rather cheap.

I am sure we can safely say that almost all of these regulations are not followed by our omnibus drivers.

Another time I will share the special regulations for Conductors.