by Donella Hosten
On Saturday 4 March, 2017, 3 bus operators who faced Magistrate Jerry Seales at the Traffic Court during last week, were given an 8-hour community service sentence.
The drivers admitted that they were punished for picking up and dropping off passengers in areas that were not designated as a “Bus Stop” which is contrary to Section 77 (4) of the Road Act Chapter 289 A of Volume 13 of the 2010 Continuous Revised Edition of the Laws of Grenada.
According to them, they received written notice from the Court stating that they were to make their way to South St George Police Station on Saturday 4 March, 2017 for 8 am, where Magistrate Seales ordered that they perform 8 hours of Community Service.
Upon arrival at the Station they were escorted by the Police further south of the island, where they were made to repaint the pedestrian crossings and markings in the road.
The operators said they were not disappointed with the punishment laid down by Magistrate Seales, but they were however concerned about the treatment they received on Saturday. They claimed they were not given anything to eat during their 8-hour stint, and only received food after they completed their duties.
One driver, who plies the Grand Anse / St George’s route, said he although he accepted his punishment, he believes that his charge was unjust. Admittedly, the driver revealed that he was not issued a ticket by the Police Officer who saw the elderly man, whom he was charged for, disembarking the bus. He said he was written up and given a court date and still was unable to plead his case.
Approximately 4 months ago, a large number of the nation’s bus operators engaged in a protest action, calling for more lenient punishments from Magistrate Seales. They also requested for the issuance of tickets for their “ticketable” offences, which was agreed to by the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF).
Bus operators continue to ask for Police Officers to use their discretion when issuing these tickets.