Sat | Jan 19, 2019

Speedy approval at Swallowfield Depot

Published:Saturday | November 8, 2014 | 12:00 AM
A learner driver at the Swallowfield Depot navigates a vehicle between cones and stones, which simulating a roadway. - File


October 15 began with a bang for me. The previous day, I had paid the fitness fee at the Constant Spring collectorate, preparatory to attending the Swallowfield Depot for the required test and resulting certificate.

At 7:45 a.m., I was first in line at the ramp. By 7:55 a.m., the first of the examiners approached and summoned me to drive on to the ramp. There he carried out the preliminary tests (checking for functioning lights, indicators, wipers, brake lights, etc.) and, within minutes, he directed that I drive a short distance over to Bay 1, write my name, TRN, and driver's licence-expiry date, on the reverse side of the collectorate receipt, and await the second examiner, who would test-drive the vehicle.

As soon as I had parked and alighted from my vehicle, the second examiner approached and requested that I hand over the receipt and existing certificate of fitness. I did. The further request to fly the bonnet was followed by the examiner checking the chassis and engine numbers. Then followed the driving test.

By 8:05 a.m., I was driving out of the depot yard, new certificate of fitness in hand. Wow!

I won't be expecting as expeditious a result on each occasion that I may take my vehicle for the periodic examination, but it has been my experience recently at Swallowfield that the tests are conducted speedily and the service beyond complaint.

I drove away from the depot musing to myself, "All may not be lost." If only we could, little by little, encourage the small-island dwellers of our little Jamaica to respect rules, eschew indiscipline, and pay attention to the little things that matter, the result may be the reversing of the social disorder threatening to tear this country apart.

So I close by 'bigging up' the team at Swallowfield and those behind the reorganisation of the vehicle examination centre. And it's just as well that I'm writing now, to heap praise, instead of an earlier time when the then head examiner (or czar, as he then was, always with towel over shoulder) ruled with an iron fist and with no regard for those who came in search of the fitness certificate.


Kingston 6