Bike taxi operators blast new Road Traffic Act
Dozens of bike taxi operators in Westmoreland have lashed out at the Government and aspects of the new Road Traffic Act.
Operators told THE WEEKEND STAR that they are mostly concerned over the section of the law which states that they are now only allowed to carry one individual, and that they will be required to get a riders licence in order to operate a motorcycle. They also took issue with the wording of the law.
"I believe that you suppose to can use your learner's licence to 'ride' your motorcycle, because them inna the court sey wi a 'drive' wi bike them, and nah seh wi a ride them," one operator stated. Another disgruntled taxi operator who works in the Grange Hill area said that he started doing the job as despite graduating from high school, he was unable to get a job.
"Mi lef school since 2018 and mi lef school wid seven subjects inna ones and twos , and mi lef go a HEART and train," the youth stated. "First mi train fi soldier, and then mi stop and go train fi examiner. Mi complete everything right now, and from 2019 mi send een one application letter, and about three time now just fi tun one examiner and mi still haffi a wait."
He said many operators have tried other avenues to get jobs without success. Another taxi operator, who gave his name as Junior, said that if bike taxi operators withdraw their services, hundreds of residents will suffer.
"Certain areas vehicles cannot go there and we have our motorcycles which can take them there," he said.
"We live in some areas weh a nuff crime a tek place, women and children a get kill, and wi as bike taxi operators, a wi a the ones who the people dem depend pon fi carry them home safe, carry home dem children from school safe. Some of the children them live inna some bush area. A we alone a ride an' a carry them a them yard because car can't go deh suh, and the driver dem not going deh suh," he added.
The disgruntled operators called on the Government to review the amended laws, because if they are pressured by the police, they will be forced to withdraw their service.