Devil’s Advocate #3: Insane ZR Driver – Lock him up in Dodd’s, throw away the key, never let him hold a Barbados Driver’s Licence ever again!

When {the Devil’s Advocate} saw the headline, Conviction No.198, in one of Barbados’ dailies they thought it referred to a serial thief but was horrified to read that it was 198 Road Traffic Convictions, here’s the rest of their rant;-

What made me even more incensed was upon reading the story I find that the accused, Cyril O’Bryan Archer, is a route taxi driver.

Check each day they have their badge, ensure they do not have convictions and tell them 4 convictions and you are out of work AND we will tell all of the other operators, then do not employ anyone who has been sacked by another operator. If you are not prepared to be proactive don’t complain when the police cause you problems.
Check each day they have their badge, ensure they do not have convictions and tell them 4 convictions and you are out of work AND we will tell all of the other operators, then do not employ anyone who has been sacked by another operator. If you are not prepared to be proactive don’t complain when the police cause you problems.

How on God’s Earth can anyone have had 197 convictions and still held a driving licence? Worse still somebody who was driving a route taxi? As I continued reading it got even worse. Justice Margaret Reifer instructed the jury to find Archer not guilty of causing death by dangerous driving, but guilty of the lesser count of dangerous driving.

Now I was not in court to hear the evidence, so I am relying entirely upon what I read as prepared by the court reporter, who says that Archer “at a fast rate of speed, overtook the traffic ahead of him, including a vehicle which had stopped to let a cyclist out, hit the cyclist knocking him to the ground, and then jumping out of his route taxi and into another vehicle and fleeing the scene…” Now tell me what part of that description is not causing death by dangerous driving?

The following morning I was listening to “Down to Brass Tacks” and a woman from Speightstown, I am sorry I did not catch your name, spent twenty minutes trying to defend PSV owners and operators, with the same old “The police are always picking on PSV vehicles.” If they are? I say GOOD, they have good reason to, I am fed up of going out on the roads each day and either having a yellow bus that close to my rear bumper I have to pull over to let them pass, because if I brake I know they are going straight in to the back of me, or driving so slowly that there are thirty cars behind them. I refuse to drive along the South Coast Road because a Number 11 ZR is clearly driven by someone with no hand/eye co-ordination, has no idea where the indicator switch is, thinks the rear view mirror is simply to look at the pretty girl inside the van, and only got their driving licence by paying someone else to take a test for them, because they had no hope of ever passing one themselves.

So lets study Mr Archer’s driving record, other than causing this death by dangerous driving, 50 convictions for carrying excess passengers, now people might think this is not so bad, but if he is licensed for say 12 passengers and has an accident and has 14 injuries, his insurers are going to say “Sorry, we insure for 12 so the cover is invalid, sue the owner.”

"I refuse to drive along the South Coast Road because a Number 11 ZR is clearly driven by someone with no hand/eye co-ordination, has no idea where the indicator switch is, thinks the rear view mirror is simply to look at the pretty girl inside the van, and only got their driving licence by paying someone else to take a test for them, because they had no hope of ever passing one themselves."
“I refuse to drive along the South Coast Road because a Number 11 ZR is clearly driven by someone with no hand/eye co-ordination, has no idea where the indicator switch is, thinks the rear view mirror is simply to look at the pretty girl inside the van, and only got their driving licence by paying someone else to take a test for them, because they had no hope of ever passing one themselves.”

33 for being off route, again there could be insurance issues, 20 for failing to display his badge, now this is not so bad BUT if that is the law then 20 times is just stupidity and if he does not own the vehicle the owner has to take some responsibility for letting him go out. 13 for carrying more than one person beside him, in a position with no seatbelt I guess, should have been charged with endangering the persons life. 11 for stopping at a place other than a bus stop, well I laughed out loud at that one, when did you last see a ZR stop at a bus stop? Oh no, stamp on the brakes, make the vehicle behind come close to an accident then sit there for 5 minutes while someone walks up a side road to get on the ZR, then just as you think it is going to move away one from the opposite direction pulls alongside for a 5 minute chat! 9 for playing loud music, perhaps a charge of public disturbance would have been better? Especially at night, and 9 for picking up people other than a bus stop, see the 11 similar charges above.

So it is not the best driving history in Barbados, but what worries me is that there could be someone out there, still driving, with a worse record! In the UK there is a points system. After his first 4 offences he would be banned for 6-12 months. After his next 4 offences it would have been at least a year and possible prison, but by now his licence would have been taken away, he would never be allowed on the road again and even if he were, no insurance company in the world would have touched him anyway.

So how can anyone defend this man and his actions? If the PSV owners and operators want to stop being an easy target for the police, police your employees. Check each day they have their badge, ensure they do not have convictions and tell them 4 convictions and you are out of work AND we will tell all of the other operators, then do not employ anyone who has been sacked by another operator. If you are not prepared to be proactive don’t complain when the police cause you problems.

However, I do not blame the owners in this case. The blame stops quite firmly with the courts. Why has someone with 198 convictions still got a driving licence? With that many convictions why is he not in Dodds anyway? Why was he not charged with Death by dangerous driving? Why was he not charged with leaving the scene of a crime? Was he insured? Did his insurers know his record? Will you lock him up now for the longest time the law allows and revoke his driving licence forever? Did the ‘paper make a mistake with the date of the accident, or was it really 1999? Has his licence been suspended prior to the hearing? And finally will you confirm if anyone else out on the roads has a worse record? Because if there is then the Devil’s Advocate thinks it is in the public interest to know who! {BR’s comment: please e-mail any info to – airbourne@bajanreporter.com}

2 Responses

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  1. {WARNING: NSFW} I must say, finally!!! Finally someone has wrote few words about this obscene and outlaw reality about transport service in Barbados. Not to mention the danger and the pollution caused by these road-pirates.
    We must stop this crap from going any further. How many more accident people need to witness before they can see some changes? It goes without saying that all this is wanted! Which makes it more backward than ever.
    This is a beautiful island. But the careless attitude and poor work ethic is destroying what is left of it.
    Tourist as well as all people living here are demotivated from engaging the highway everyday.
    A special note goes to those c**ts (yes, you heard me) who drive purposely slow because their bus doesn’t have enough people in… still they don’t allow cars to overtake them. You need to stop this s**t! Your license (if you have one) needs to be burned and you never allowed behind a well ever again!! You are the cause of traffic, delays, accident, pollution and congestion EVERY F****NG DAY of the week.
    A message goes to those who believe this crap should continue. Die and go to hell!!!

  2. Hear, hear!!!! What more must happen before we as a society try to regain some measure of control over these psychos who daily place life and limb in mortal danger? One hears rumours of police officers and MPs being the true owners of these vehicles and that is why this situation has run out of control for years. I hope and pray that it is ONLY rumour, but in light of FIFA/THEIFA and so on… who knows? I just want to see a return to common sense on our roads and elsewhere.

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