Nedburn Thaffe, Gleaner Writer
Police to clamp down on tinted taxis and buses in new term
Head of the Police Traffic Division, Senior Superintendent Radcliffe Lewis, says his team will be taking to the streets in full force today in an effort to put a halt to the illicit practices of some public passenger vehicle operators which threaten the well-being of schoolchildren.
Lewis told The Gleaner yesterday that his team would be listening out for lewd music being played on buses and in taxis with schoolchildren, but added that the police would be coming down heavily on public transport operators caught with dark tints.
"What has happened is that certain instructions were given by the Transport Authority that a low-grade tint can be accepted. To tell you the truth, I was not for it. The instructions given are not being adhered to so come Monday morning the police, along with motor vehicle examiners, will again embark on the no-tinting issue," Lewis said.
"I am sorry about that but it is something that I can't help because, what has happened, they were given an inch and they have now taken a mile, so it is full time now to have this matter dealt with in a decisive manner once and for all."
Last year, the police went on a drive to clamp down on buses and taxis with dark tints following outcry that children were engaging in lewd behaviour while travelling in these vehicles.
Authorities were later forced to cease the clampdown operations following accusations of double standards after operators of public passenger vehicles pointed to the government-run Jamaica Urban Transit Company buses that have been allowed to operate with tints. The authorities later moved to revise the tint grade allowing for low-grade tints on public passenger vehicles.
Allows for abuse
However, Lewis said this has been causing much confusion and allows for abuse of the system leaving the Traffic Division with no other choice but to take a heavy-handed approach to tackle the issue.
Lewis said while in the past the police would have removed tints and issued a ticket to operators, charging them for failure to maintain their car glass, this would no longer be the case.
"We are not issuing tickets for that now, so if you have the tint on we are asking you to take it off before Monday morning ... because once you are caught with the tint, you will be taken straight to court," Lewis said, adding that in the past many have disregarded the tickets.
"We want to see what is happening in the bus because a number of things start creeping up back again. Even if the tint is a low-grade tint, once it is raining or it is night, you cannot see in the buses," Lewis said.