Having spent 24 years driving taxis in and around Spanish Town, St Catherine, 51-year-old Errol Campbell is urging his colleagues to not be “greedy” when looking for passengers.
According to Campbell, greedy taxi drivers could be putting their lives at risk as they cannot know the intentions of their passengers.
“Some a di way di taxi driver dem gwaan extra hungry, dem grab anyting, you know — all mad people dem carry when dem ready — so, it kinda hard fi advise a man. You just affi tell dem fi be careful. A man will just come and a run you down and a seh 'Yah go a Fairview, yah go a John's Road?' Him nuh care who you wah be. A nuh everybody you a go carry weh you know, but you try as best as possible to be careful, because from them nuh kill you, you have a next life,” Campbell told the Jamaica Observer.
He shared his memory of how he almost lost his vehicle and possibly his life after picking up a passenger in the Spanish Town taxi park.
“Me a seh 'St John's [Road], Ebony [Vale], Fairview?' And then one man come and seh him a go Ebony, me see another man come and seh 'You a go down?' You see by the time me turn in a Ebony, mi hear 'One stop yah so.' When me look me a seh 'Yah so?' Because nuh house nuh deh as you turn in a Ebony. As me look round a gun me a look pan, so me just jump out a the car and left it give them,” Campbell recalled.
But Campbell had installed a special system which required him to reprogram the vehicle every time the car's doors opened and closed. If the system was not reprogrammed, the car would shut off. “Them never know that. Them never get the car. Mi did a seh them nah go find the system how fi programme it. One of the guys behind me did a watch enuh, but me nuh think him did see all that good. Me never 'fraid, me never did a think 'bout shooting and all that, fi tell you the truth. Mi just a think seh 'Mek dem gwaan because dem never even rob me,” Campbell told the Observer.
That incident happened around 12 noon, nine years ago, and Campbell said although he has never been robbed by a woman, he has learnt to be wary of them as well.
“Me deh yah fi a while now; you know most a who you carry, especially a night. You can't really take me a night [because] you nah go really carry who you don't know, you nah go turn off wid who you don't know, because women are thieves, you know. [Some] a di time dem a the woman dem set up the robbery. When the man them want fi rob you, them send woman,” Campbell said.
Name: Errol Campbell
Age: 51 years old
Length of career: 24 years
Route: Spanish Town to Johnson Road, Old Harbour Road, St Catherine