NCOPT President Wants Tough Sanctions Against Errant Bus Operators, Commuters

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The President of the National Council on Public Transportation (NCOPT), Godfrey Ferdinand, urges tough penalties against errant bus operators and citizens.

In this regard, Ferdinand said the NCOPT had asked the government to set up a disciplinary committee empowered to suspend or revoke the permits of bus operators who persist in breaking the law.

“When you take measures like that, it sends a clear message that no form of indiscipline is tolerated in the sector,” he told St Lucia Times.

Ferdinand said the organisation had fruitful discussions with Transport Minister Stephenson King regarding the disciplinary committee.

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“We wanted it by June 1. We are working towards that ,” he explained, adding that the proposed new body would be a sub-committee of the Road Transport Board.

However, Ferdinand pointed out that not only bus operators lack discipline.

“We have a very indisciplined society where persons insult and assault bus drivers. Sometimes we take it to the police, and all they tell us ‘Oh, just resolve your thing’ and that shouldn’t be,” the NCOPT official lamented.

According to Ferdinand, there should be strict laws against passengers insulting or assaulting bus operators.

Regarding passenger complaints against bus operators, he told St Lucia Times that the existing procedure is that the offended person can write the operator’s bus association providing his licence plate number, copying the complaint to the NCOPT and the Ministry of Transport.

Ferdinand said the complaint comes before the disciplinary committee of the association, which would decide on the matter.

The action could include compensation to the aggrieved passenger, a fine, or an operator suspension.

However, Ferdinand believes that the procedure represents a slap on the wrist.

“What we do is just suspend the person – that’s the most we can do. We can suspend but the person still has a valid driver’s licence. We are not responsible for the licence. We are not responsible for the permit. So what the person does, he is suspended but his vehicle is still making an income for him,” he told St Lucia Times.

Ferdinand indicated that a government disciplinary committee would be able to suspend or revoke the permits for persistent lawbreakers.

Headline photo: Godfrey Ferdinand

 

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Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
Our Editorial Staff at St. Lucia Times is a team publishing news and other articles to over 200,000 regular monthly readers in Saint Lucia and in over 150 other countries worldwide.

6 COMMENTS

  1. The NCOPT needs fresh leadership. The President obviously doesn’t know what he is talking about and does not understand that an appointed sub-committee has no jurisdiction over a mini bus owner. Traffic offenses are handled by the Traffic department. Period. The president of the NCOPT must understand that each bus owner is an independent operator providing a service to commuters willing to pay for that service. The bus owner is not obligated to become a member of any group. His bus is licensed and insured to carry passengers, and that makes it legal for him to pick up and drop off passengers. He doesn’t have to operate under any Route Band. The commuters don’t belong government and they are free to engage whatever means of transportation they choose and are free to spend their disposal income in whatever manner that satisfies them. The NCOPT needs to grow and and Government cannot help them accomplish this growth. The government cannot help itself. The government is bankrupt of ideas; it has nothing to offer. The government’s section resides in fares regulation and nothing else. The government (SLP/UWP) is well supplied with bluffers. People who don’t have the intelligence of a sardine. People who are not useful to growth. The bus owners need to come together and get the assistance of a Financial advisor to instruct/advise them on ways of creating growth/wealth in the industry. The Transportation industry has tremendous growth potential which will be accomplished when the bus owners start looking beyond fare increases to the value of the monies given to the Insurance Industry which is not ploughed back into the Transportation Industry.

  2. …and there should be tough penalties for the drivers who do not keep good hygiene, smell all day, pee anywhere and handle money without washing their hands

  3. Godfrey, it is all about putting people first. If you discipline any bus driver, or cause police to charge any one of them, the SLP government will expunged the charge. Why do you think that police are not assisting with traffic management along the Marisule to Gros-Islet Road. Bus drivers and motorists alike, are breaking the traffic laws without a care in the world. There is a No-Right turn, before 9:00am, from the Corinth back road into the Windward-Islands Gases Gap. No one respects that sign, and police don’t care a damn. That’s what partisan politics in small-island states can cause.

  4. ok so let me ask a question after the persons license or permit is revoked then what? you going to keep punishing the person the rest of their life for something that maybe was a mistake for the first time in their life and deprive that person of fending and feeding their family if a bus is what they only have to operate on the road?

    • Sanctions are of different forms and are not necessarily permanent ! It is about time we have some discipline on island especially by those we trust with our lives. They should be given random alcohol test .

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