THE EDITOR, Sir:The recent Holmwood tragedy has brought to light the many clichés of successive Jamaican governments. An obvious problem has been ignored until tragedy strikes, after which government will implement ineffective short-term solutions (more aimed at PR than anything else) until the tragedy fades from public memory. Rinse and repeat.
The Jamaican Government has a serious dilemma: it is unable to run or regulate a proper bus system. This is quite pathetic, as many individuals make a good living via operating public passenger vehicles (proving that the sector can be economically viable), and the fact is that one of a government's main tasks is regulation.
I advocate the divestment/disposal of the Jamaica Urban Transit Company. This would require refocused efforts on regulation of the public-transport sector. This regulation would involve the following:
Semi-annual fitness certifications of public passenger vehicles and biannual testing of their drivers.
Bus parks manned by transport ministry staff and equipped with cameras to ensure proper loading practices.
Cameras placed along routes to ensure adherence with the road code.
GPS tracking of and/or dashboard cameras equipped to vehicles to further ensure such adherence.
A three-strikes policy, where three violations result in the removal of a driver's PPV licence certification and six violations result in the removal of an owner's route permit.
Are the above suggestions foolproof? No. Will they need to be heavily amended? Yes. They are, however, much better than what those charged with governance are currently doing: nothing.