Sat | Nov 27, 2021

Letter of the Day | Road etiquette and discipline at rock bottom

Published:Wednesday | February 27, 2019 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

Rock bottom and digging. That’s what we are doing with our road etiquette and discipline. Yes, we have all seen the insanely silly driving all across the island. For the most part, we blame taxi and minibus operators as the main culprits, as they justly are.

But they are not alone. The insanity has invaded almost every category of driver – men, women, every race, creed or colour, all ages, rich or poor, high end or jalopy. This is why I say we have hit bottom and we are digging fast.

It could be so funny we might not realise the danger this poses to societal discipline, decency, pervasive corruption, rage and death. And I don’t think I am overreacting. Every one of us has recently seen an appalling act of road irresponsibility that leaves you with your head shaking or enraged.

What bothers us all is why is this allowed to happen? Do we have traffic police? But then again, even when some are caught they continue to act with impunity and rack up hundreds of tickets. So there is a systemic problem with the government operation and internal communication.

But here is the worse part. All of these drivers have cemented in their DNA that they can do anything and get away with it. There are no consequences in life in Jamaica.

But it goes further. Every passenger in every taxi and bus sees the drivers break every law to get them to their destination faster than the cars behind them, and they don’t complain, so they are now complicit.

What will children and young adults learn from this daily exercise? They learn that to get ahead in life in Jamaica, you break the rules, don’t stand in line, go straight to the front, stop where you want, park where you want, switch from lane to lane, motorcyclists don’t stop at any stoplight…it all doesn’t matter; rules are for idiots.

Here’s the serious part. We are developing a generation that sees rule-breaking and being totally self-centred to get ahead in life as the new normal. In fact, in their minds they will think they are doing the right thing. Remember, our parents and elders used to tell us to work hard to get ahead in life. Well, the new normal says – find the shortest path to front, rules are for the weak, just get there the easiest way.

I am sure you can see where this will take us.

My question now is: why don’t the police want to stop this? It happens way too often to be missed. Why doesn’t the Government have this as a priority? They are losing revenue, increasing costs in hospitals, and developing a society that will soon become unmanageable.

So there you go, we are at rock bottom. Who has another shovel? Let’s go deeper. (Sarcasm)

FRANCOIS ST JUSTE

francois.stjuste @rjrgleanergroup.com

Twitter: @francoisonfame