Wed | Jul 8, 2020

Politicians must start thinking, save our children

Published:Thursday | May 23, 2019 | 12:23 AM


“There was anger and anguish at Titchfield High....” is how the RJR nooncast started on Tuesday, May 21, 2019. One of their own (Pranjal Jasti) had perished in a bus accident the afternoon before and a few had received serious injuries. The principal, Richard Thompson, was clearly at his wits’ end.

When I heard the number of persons on the bus, I thought it was a Coaster, but when I saw pictures of the Toyota Hiace, I knew that it was a matter of ‘lapping up’. I have written before on the Government’s responsibility to our children. Can our government really look our children in the eye and say,”We did our best”?

This problem has been going on for decades and we expect our children to grow up being patriotic. It seems to me that this lapping-up problem is especially acute in the eastern parishes of St Thomas, Portland and St Mary. Can’t the municipal authorities in these parishes do something?


Many of the men driving public passenger vehicles are not worthy of doing so. Furthermore, the transportation of children takes a certain kind of individual. Many owners are not careful enough in their choice of driver. How could this driver have been ticketed a few weeks ago for a similar offence and he was driving the same bus?

Many of these transport operators don’t know that loading the vehicle like this puts extra pressure on it, so it’s not surprising that the brakes failed. The vehicle was not made to transport all that load. These drivers need to be locked up.

Ticketing is not going to help. Taking off licence plates is not going to help. This is not going to get the students to and from school in comfort and on time. As the principal of Port Antonio High, Basil Graham, said on ‘Beyond the Headlines’, “We need more seats”. School can help, but this is a local problem and that’s why I feel it is incumbent on the municipal corporations to act.

We pay politicians to solve problems. We pay them to think. It’s full time they started doing so.

Norman W. M. Thompson