Stop the road terrorists!

Letters to the Editor

Stop the road terrorists!

Thursday, October 31, 2019

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Dear Editor,

I am certainly not going to 'shadow my brakes' on this one.

Driving in Jamaica is absolute hell! There, I said it. I mean, somebody had to.

Between the aggressive, impatient honking of the horns, to the illegal, reckless sudden stops and the forcing of themselves in front of law-abiding motorists in a line of traffic, I really don't know how the accident rate isn't much higher.

Where did this complete and total disregard for the law originate from? And why has it been perpetuated?

The atrocities witnessed on the roads on a daily basis are simply mind-blogging. Several of these atrocities occur in the presence of those who committed themselves to upholding the law — think, police officers. Sadly, sometimes these very same officers are perpetrators themselves. If law enforcers blatantly refuse to adhere to the laws of the land, then what message is being sent to the mere citizens?

Although the police themselves drive like maniacs at times, the main culprits of creating the greatest mayhem on the Jamaican roads are — drum roll please — the taxi and bus drivers.

These road terrorists have made absolutely no sense of the road code. In fact, one wonders if they have ever heard of the term. All evidence reflects that it is indeed a foreign concept to these drivers who, on a daily basis, are responsible for transporting our country's most precious cargo — its citizens.

What is most troubling, though, is that the Government seems to be oblivious to these transport operators' atrocities and, hence, is doing very little to curb the increasing indiscipline on these Jamaican streets. It seems even they have accepted the havoc that these drivers wreak daily.

Let me ask, though, why is it that the same indiscipline Jamaican driver will go overseas and fall in line almost immediately? Survey says…structure!

Proper structure is a by-product of careful and diligent governance. There needs to be effective laws to curb bad behaviour and, most importantly, there must be adequate monitoring to ensure that the laws are abided by.

If laws are left unmonitored, what occurs is equivalent to a parent who does not discipline his/her child; mayhem and absolute havoc!

I can assure you that if a proper assessment and monitoring are done it would reveal that most of the traffic build-up on Jamaican roads is as a result of indiscipline drivers who refuse to wait their turn.

The incident that occurred recently in Half-Way-Tree, in which a taxi operator hit two citizens while they were walking on the sidewalk, is just the tip of the iceberg.

Until the Government decides to take serious steps to deal with these road terrorists driving in Jamaica will continue to be hell, and unless you drive like the devil you will not survive.

Tracey-ann Mair

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