By George Henry, Gleaner Writer
SCORES OF commuters were left stranded for over two hours in the rural township of Spaldings last Wednesday, as some taxi and minibus operators pulled their vehicles from the road.
Their decision to do so came as the police along with a certifying officer from the Mandeville Examination Depot were conducting spot checks as they marked 'Road Safety Day'. The check on vehicles was carried out near the police station in that town.
Corporal Frazer, who is the traffic cop in Spaldings, told The Gleaner that the operation formed part of an on-going effort to bring order in that town, as well as to ensure that operators of defective vehicles, take time out to make sure that their vehicles are put in roadworthy conditions.
He stated that during the operation which lasted for over two hours, some 20 motor vehicles, including taxis had their registration plates removed for various defects, including faulty brake system, blown headlights, faulty tyres, outdated certificates of fitness and insurance certificates, among other things.
COMMUTERS LEFT STRANDED
The traffic cop stated that other owners of vehicles, on hearing of the spot check, decided not to drive to or from the Spaldings town centre and so many commuters were either left stranded or had to jostle for a seat in those vehicles which were deemed as fit.
He also pointed out that the operation gave an indication that many of the taxi operators who ply the Spaldings to Mandeville, Christiana, Cave Valley and Frankfield routes lacked confidence in their ability to face the certifying officers in the parish, as their vehicle documents are either not up to date or the vehicles have defects.
Corporal Frazer who told The Gleaner that spot checks would be done more frequently in the area, called on operators of vehicles, especially public transport operators to ensure that not only their vehicle documents are up to date, but that vehicles are roadworthy.
He stated that the regular spot checks being carried out in collaboration with the Christiana police and the certifying officers are being done to ensure that there is safety for operators as well as the travelling public.
He stated that what the police was doing was not being done to scare operators, but to ensure that they adhere to the laws governing traffic.
There were very few taxis and minibuses in the town of Spaldings during the period of the spot checks. Some taxi operators took alternative routes in order to avoid the police and the certifying officer who were involved in the operation. Many commuters became concerned as to whether or not they would get home before nightfall, as the operation went on up to almost 7 p.m.