Thu | Oct 18, 2018

Chaos at St James-Hanover border irks custos

Published:Thursday | February 22, 2018 | 12:00 AMBryan Miller/Gleaner Writer
Dr David Stair

Western Bureau :

Despite the good intention behind its implementation, residents of Hanover are becoming increasingly frustrated with the police/military checkpoint which was established on the Hanover-St James border following the declaration of a public state of emergency in St James.

The police 119 emergency number was bombarded with calls from Hanover this past Monday evening, as chaos and disorder ruled and tempers flared amid a horrifying traffic pile-up in the vicinity of the Great River water treatment plant. The line stretched from the Great River Bridge to Spring Garden in St James, a distance of approximately three miles.

Hanover Custos Dr David Stair, who was caught in the traffic pile-up which saw frustrated motorists creating three and sometimes four lanes of traffic going in one direction towards Hopewell, said it was one of the most disgusting experiences he has had in his whole life.

"There were several lines going in one direction, and only those persons who decided to abide by the rules of the road were not making any progress," said Stair. "I have never ever seen so much indiscipline on the road in all my life. Even emergency vehicles coming in the other direction had to be scrambling and driving on the sidewalk to get by."

"It shows clearly that if you abide by the rules in Jamaica, you really don't go anywhere," the custos added.

A clearly frustrated Stair further stated that if the security forces had placed some personnel along the roadway and issued tickets to persons breaking the rules, enough fines could have been collected to fund the country for months.

"When you are doing checkpoints like that, you need to have personnel lining the route at intervals to witness the indiscipline and nonsense taking place along the roadway," argued Stair, who noted that the checkpoints are no longer necessary. "No criminal is going to sit and wait in line for three hours to be checked by security personnel."


'... Law-abiding citizens being terrorised'


"It's just law-abiding citizens in the country who are losing a lot of time and money and other resources as a whole," said Hanover Custos Dr David Stair of the chaotic traffic scenes created by security checkpoints in the parish. "The whole situation needs to be reviewed, as it is just law-abiding citizens who are being terrorised by this unbearable situation."

Residents of Hanover are now dreading the experience of having to face the traffic congestion daily as they head home from work.

"Last night was a clear indication of wanton disrespect of law-abiding citizens by the authorities, and this country will never improve if this kind of behaviour continues," another frustrated resident said.