Without being insensitive to the recent accident involving the school child who was struck while crossing the street from behind a passenger van, President of the Vincentian Transport Association (VINTAS) Royron Adams said that it is time for a national conversation about issues within the industry. In an Interview with BreadFruit News, He said:
“I am of the view, and parents ought to begin to understand, that it is their responsibility to take their children to and from school. The responsibility placed on conductor is too great given their core function involves assisting the driver and other passengers”.
“It’s really unfortunate. And from looking at the video, I could understand why we all will have concerns. From my point view, the driver in the car was driving without due care and consideration for other road users”.
In light of frequent criticisms of van operators, President Adams further said,
“When one takes a license exam, it teaches that you should always approach a public service vehicle with caution as passengers who are getting off of or onto can be crossing the road in front or behind of the van. It is difficult for the driver or conductor to be seen as culpable in this case”.
As an Insurance professional with over 25 years experience and a van owner, the President says he has seen many similar incidents where minors expose themselves to danger while crossing the road without adult supervision.
“Generally, it is easy to point the finger at motorist simply because the motorist has a greater responsibility to look out for pedestrians while driving.”
However, he further noted:
“After looking back at the video, you have to ask yourself, “Where is the parent? Why would you send your child on their own on public transportation? You cannot put all the responsibility on conductors to take care of your child”.
“You look over to countries like St. Lucia and other jurisdictions where they do not have conductors, are you going to ask your 5 year old or 4 year old to get to school on their own?”
“It is about time Vincentian parents start taking more responsibility for taking their children to and fro and for looking out for their kids on public transportation”.