Minibuses must be gradually hauled off our roads
January 21, 2002
The institutionalized lawlessness on our roads, which has been mounting, seems at least to be moving the Minister of Home Affairs to rush new legislation to parliament in an effort to abate the high death rate. I am happy that the situation has finally caused heavyweights such as Mr Norman Mc Lean to add his voice and pen to the need to act quickly, sensibly and urgently.
What I find lacking in all the new measures though, is that they seem content to leave on the roads as the main form of transportation the very means which over the past few years have become primarily responsible for this state of affairs. I refer to the mini-buses, which suddenly appeared a few years ago, replacing larger buses.
For one thing the fact that these buses are so small implies that to transport a given volume of passengers per day, there must be more of them on the roads than if larger buses were used. I am not advocating a return to the large Tata buses. But surely, the more medium sized buses that are now used predominantly on the Linden - Georgetown leg, are much more suitable to Guyana's roads. These buses present several advantages over mini buses:
* The police will have fewer bus drivers, and buses to monitor and regulate.
* The suicidal mentality which comes with being a mini bus driver will be minimized. Accidents on the Linden highway are much less with the advent of the Sparta Global and other such services.
* As such there will be less chaos and much more order on our roads.
* There will be much more order on our roads with the use of these medium sized buses, if the authorities also ensure that buses stop only at Bus Stops. In this regard, I hope that among all the measures soon to be implemented that formal bus stops will be established at specific points and that it would be illegal for a bus to stop for passengers other than at a formal bus stop.
To achieve the gradual removal of minibuses must be an objective of the new age and the authorities must allow a period of time for them to be phased out.