Dangerous modifications are made locally to minibuses
Stabroek News
February 21, 2002

Dear Editor,

I write concerning the constant accidents in which "Mini Buses" are involved. We all know many of these accidents are due to the high speed at which they travel, faulty tires, malfunctioning brakes, clutch etc.

However, we must also look at the modifications that are made to these mini buses, particularly with the seats, by those who import them or their owners.

The majority of these mini buses come with a smaller seating capacity than what we see them operating with on the road. Some come with twelve seats, but then these seats would be taken out and rearranged or replaced with locally made seats so as to accommodate another row of seats; the twelve seater mini bus now becomes a fifteen seater.

This is dangerous because these vehicles are not built to carry this added weight and I am certain they are not crash tested with this weight and with the extra seats. This also causes the braking distance of the vehicle to increase.

I share this with you from my experience as a victim of a mini crash. Prior to the actual collision with the other vehicle, the mere force of applying breaks at such a high speed, and so suddenly caused the frame of the locally made seats to collapse and cause additional injury to the passengers

We need to look at the mini buses and at the modifications that are made to them because the lives of our nation's travelers depend on it.

Yours faithfully,

Andrew Yarde