It was with a mixture of disgust, bemusement and embarrassment that I listened to the Attorney General Anand Ramlogan’s attempt to pilot the Bail Amendment Act in the Senate on January 21.
During his presentation, in order to identify with the “common man,” he referred to the example of a farmer who, in order to supplement his income, “buys a car to work ah lil PH.” Does the Honourable AG know that this is an illegal activity?
Using a private car as a commercial vehicle is illegal. The insurance does not cover all passengers, drivers are not required to have their vehicles inspected annually, and they are also exempt from obtaining a certificate of good character before plying their illegal trade.
They avoid the charges, duties and hassle of changing vehicles from P to H. The “PH’’ drivers enter streets where regular taxis are not allowed, they can park on corners to avoid the designated taxi stands, they are able to go off route frequently.
Further, their vehicles are not identified as taxis on the licence plates, nor are identification cards placed in public view of passengers. They pose a danger to passengers and for good reason are designated as illegal.
By referring to this action in his presentation, by “legalising” it as an activity worthy of protection sets a pitiful example to the public and is an insult to the hardworking, honest and legal taxi drivers of Trinidad and Tobago.
Unfortunately, there are wider consequences for the general public. If the AG condones it...then it’s allowed, if the Government can misuse the Priority Bus Route...why can’t others...and it goes on ad infinitum.
Lawless persons must have their role models too, I suppose.