Bus drivers and conductors plying the Grand Anse route are planning to take a form of industrial protest, today Thursday, to show solidarity with a number of drivers who had their licenses confiscated by the court. Yesterday, the drivers on began mobilising, wearing red ribbons.
The drivers said Magistrate Jerry Seales, who is now in charge of the Traffic Court in St George’s is bringing hardship to colleagues because of some actions he has taken on a number of drivers. He has demanded that they pay traffic fines immediately or be sent to prison.
According to information from the court on Tuesday, a number of bus drivers who are repeat traffic ticket offenders, some owning the court as much as EC$3,000, were ordered to pay up or go to prison.
The men were placed in a holding cell and had the opportunity to make a phone call. In most cases the fines were paid and they were released, said one official knowledgeable about the matter.
However, because the law provides for the magistrate to take further action on repeat offenders, some of them had their licence withdrawn for between 1 to 2 months.
“That is unfair to the men because it will be affecting their livelihood. What he expect the men to do now, they pay the money, he should not have taken away the licence,” said one driver.
“We will be protesting in solidarity with our fellow drivers on the same route. That is just too much punishment, that penalty is just too much,” said one driver.
By Linda Straker