NCOPT To Discuss Perception Of ‘Selective Enforcement’ With RSLPF

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The National Council of Public Transportation (NCOPT) has announced plans to discuss a perception among some of its members that the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force (RSLPF) is engaging in ‘selective enforcement’ of laws.

The council says officers seem to focus on ensuring that bus drivers adhere to the COVID-19 protocol regarding passenger loads while excluding other enforcement matters.

“We will seek a meeting with the police to talk about that perception of selective policing,” NCOPT President Godfrey Ferdinand told St Lucia Times.

Ferdinand disclosed that within four days, the police issued some 20 tickets to minibus operators for carrying more than the ten passengers allowed as per the COVID-19 protocols.

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He told St Lucia Times the matter is a source of frustration and anger among members of the NCOPT who explain that the police are not present at other times when bus operators need them.

“They’re saying that when they need assistance from the police in terms of theft, police presence in the night, police presence in terms of crimes against bus operators and piracy, always there’s none,” Ferdinand stated.

“It seems in the humble opinion of the operators that the only crime is carrying excess passengers, so that is causing them to be agitated and very angry and say they feel they are being targeted and it is selective enforcement. There’s no enforcement for piracy, there’s no enforcement for persons picking up passengers in the wrong place on a route or offloading buses, there’s no crime for that but there’s ticketing for capacity and there is this overwhelming presence of the police for that one particular thing,” the NCOPT official told St Lucia Times.

At the same time, Ferdinand said bus operators have noted that the police do not appear to be targeting company buses that transport employees in the same way.

In addition, Ferdinand expressed concern over how the COVID-19 protocols are changing, saying that it is creating some issues.

“The operators always have issues with the ten passengers, bearing in mind that there can be no social distancing on a public bus in their humble opinion,” he disclosed.

Ferdinand told St Lucia Times that his organisation plans to raise that issue with the authorities and discuss the possibility of adopting one standard passenger protocol instead of one that fluctuates.

“Right now, it’s ten. Before it was twelve. The operators are asking, ‘What’s the difference?'”

The NCOPT President also said bus operators question whether there’s proof that the COVID-19 virus is spreading in minibuses and the basis for the reduction in passenger numbers.

“Is there any science to prove that two persons less on a bus will cause the infection rate to go down? Is there any science to prove that, if we are going by the science?” Ferdinand quoted NCOPT members as saying.

Headline photo: Internet file image

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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.

7 COMMENTS

  1. This attitude exemplify the state of lawlessness in ST Lucia. They don’t want to abide by laws, neither do they want to pay taxes. The police should not budge.

  2. Minibus drivers are a law unto themselves, picking and dropping off passengers on junctions, causing chaos for other traffic, indicating right when they are not ready to pull out, taking more passengers than allowed, breaking the speed limits constantly, in my whole life of travel and driving I have never seen anything so bad as St Lucian bus drivers and their ( lack of ) driving skills.

  3. Ferdinand when will you and the bus drivers realize that the situation we are facing is a health issue. Bus drivers keep talking about that there is not much of physical; distancing but at least the passengers need some level of physical distance. You want people to rub on each other just for profit? That same closeness you wat with a full load when one sneezes or cough you do not see how uncomfortable that is.
    And another point I would like to make. Last week I heard a bus driver come on the news saying about the licensing board on transport, I believe, that 2 kids below the age of 10 are considered 1. It is a health issue for gawd’s sake these bus drivers wants kids from different households to rub on each other?. Don’t these bus drivers know when it is a public health crises the government can change/break rules and put new ones? How ignorant can one be just to make extra dollars. Was it those same Gros-Islet Bus drivers who were overcharging passenger after hours $5 from Castries to Choc and so on when it should have been $$2.25 and was brought to the attention of the transport board and Transport board had to place a board on the wall with the different rates. If they were so honest and following the rules that would not have happened.

  4. Once the police stopped and charged for me and the front passenger for not wearing seat belts and did not charge me for an obvious bad tire. I guess i should hold a meeting for selective enforcement

  5. Blurred lines again.
    Tangled webs again.
    Unfortunately the RSLPF are under-equipped, under-manned – no special forces for such a service.
    Unfortunately bus drivers are not part of the “Civil Service” – but private entities who do not pay income tax, or NIC subs; but are demanding “special services”.
    Who is to blame? Not them, but the various government administrations over the years.
    Yes, the bus drivers need to pay insurance, taxes on routes, licences, all those monies for them to operate – but they SHOULD BE included in the police mix of safety, and health protocols.
    Tangled webs … blurred lines.
    What is the solution?

Comments are closed.

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