A lethal recipe for disaster
Stabroek News
March 1, 2002

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Dear Editor,

I would carry the points made by Andrew Yarde in his letter captioned "Dangerous modifications are made locally to minibuses" [ please note: link provided by LOSP web site ] (2l.2.2002) to their logical and lethal conclusion. After the seating in mini buses has been altered by rearrangement and increase, the vehicle must necessarily become unstable. To compensate for this, the boys refit the vehicle with 'mag' (wide track) rims and tyres. Inevitably, however, only four are bought and the spare remains a rim of standard size. Incidentally, every one of the 45 minibuses with mag rims that was checked had a standard rim as spare.

The cumulative effect of the foregoing is as follows: a bus manufactured to carry 12 persons is refitted to carry 15 and overloaded to carry 19. Having earlier had a puncture, it is now being driven on a two lane 'highway' at a minimum speed of 60 m.p.h. fitted with 3 mag rims and 1 standard rim by a twenty year old person who most likely acquired his licence under questionable circumstances, and who is 'hustling' to make as much money as he can. If anyone knows of a more lethal recipe for disaster and death, please advise. Case in point: the mini bus that crashed on the East Coast some time ago resulting in the greatest number of fatalities in a single accident on our roads. The photograph of the buys on the front page of the two dailies after the accident clearly showed the bus fitted with one standard rim and three outsize ones! Having regard to the numbers of persons who use mini buses as their sole means of transport, small wonder is it that more persons do not die on our roads. The guardian angels assigned to Guyana must be overworked!

My answer? Legislation which allows the authorities to require that devices limiting their maximum speed be fitted to all mini buses used for hire, including those already on the road. A proposal such as this will surely incur the wrath of some, and there are those who will question the effectiveness, feasibility, etc. For my part, I am assured that it can be accomplished. In the meantime, as the debate goes on and everyone with an opinion demands his right to have his say, the mayhem on our roads continues.

Yours faithfully,

C.E. Housty