We are ALL responsible for road safety
THE EDITOR, Sir:
Superintendent Duane Wellington and other top members of the police force are justified in their wrath at minibus drivers for operating overloaded buses; and the efforts to increase police presence on the roads to monitor and ‘stamp out’ the practice is commendable. But frankly, that strategy alone will not solve the problem.
We must ask ourselves, why do these ‘lap-up’ buses exist in the first place? It must be because there are not enough ways for the passengers, often students, to get where they are going on time. There are so many stories of lap-up buses and taxis and even ‘taxi-motorcycles’, with two or more pillion riders. These have become necessary because there aren’t enough facilities for efficient public transportation.
Add to that the mentation of the passengers: is it complacency, desperate urgency or mere fascination and amusement that motivate us to get into a vehicle that we can see is already overloaded? Do we not have a choice to wait for a more suitable one? Can we speak to the driver to say we no longer feel safe and get off with or without paying? What is the value of my life; two bus fares? What is the value of my child’s life? What am I teaching them about taking public transport?
Our nation is made up of ALL of us. So yes, let us demand stricter vigilance of undisciplined public transport operators. Yes, let us request a speedy improvement in available facilities for public transportation so that people have more options. But also let us take responsibility for our own actions; what we choose for ourselves and by extension for our children.
DR KATHY-ANN LEON