Govt. Must Pass A Smart But Resolute RT (Act)

The pri­ma­ry respon­si­bil­i­ty of Government is to pro­vide safe­ty and secu­ri­ty to its peo­ple.
Today we do not build walls to keep out invaders because walls can be scaled, and tun­nels are made under walls.…..
[Oh wait I spoke too soon]. I meant to say that smart lead­ers do not do that. I for­got that some still believe that hid­ing behind walls is a great defen­sive mech­a­nism.
But I digress…

Trump’s bor­der wall


The secu­ri­ty nations pro­vide for their cit­i­zens is not con­fined to keep­ing the peace with hos­tile neigh­bors, it includes pro­tect­ing the pop­u­la­tion from threats for­eign and domes­tic.
When the domes­tic threat assess­ment is dis­sect­ed, Government must make deci­sions to pro­tect the pop­u­la­tion not just from those who would will­ful­ly cause harm but from those who would reck­less­ly and care­less­ly cause harm to oth­ers as well.

That is why I sup­port the Government’s attempt at the restruc­tur­ing of the Road Traffic Act.
The Road Traffic Act of 2018 was passed in the House of Representatives but was stalled in the Senate because of con­cerns raised by the Jamaica Association of Transport Owners.
The bill has been stalled in the Senate and accord­ing to Ruel Reid who was act­ing as leader of gov­ern­ment busi­ness, the pro­posed leg­is­la­tion will be con­sid­ered at a “lat­er date”.

The rea­son Reid gave for the delay is that the Government want­ed time to lis­ten to the con­cerns of the pub­lic trans­porta­tion oper­a­tors and to pro­vide clar­i­fi­ca­tion.
Adding, quote;“This is a great oppor­tu­ni­ty for the matur­ing of our democ­ra­cy, where stake­hold­ers feel that the Government will lis­ten to them if they have gen­uine con­cerns.”
We are not in a dic­ta­tor­ship, we are in a democ­ra­cy, and so we will val­ue our impor­tant stake­hold­ers.”

Ruel Reid


There is so much wrong with all this but here is the thing. 
Why would a bill be passed in the low­er house with­out hear­ings and debate on the bill?
Hasn’t the ill-advised INDECOM Act taught these par­lia­men­tar­i­ans any­thing?
How in God’s name can a leg­isla­tive body pass a mean­ing­ful bill with­out hear­ing from stake­hold­ers, look­ing at data, and see­ing how all of the infor­ma­tion fits into the strate­gic goals of the gov­ern­ment?

The much need­ed Road Traffic Act is long over­due, it will replace an archa­ic and out­dat­ed law which has no real teeth and does not pro­vide the lev­el of pro­tec­tion the pub­lic need today.
The trans­port lob­by which is a high­ly vocal, high­ly dis­or­ga­nized and high­ly dis­rup­tive loose­ly-knit body should be heard in this, but their point of view as it relates to penal­ties should not hold any sway.
We sim­ply can­not have the inmates run­ning the asy­lum any longer.

The need for an updat­ed Road Traffic law was made nec­es­sary by the very same mem­bers of the afore­men­tioned undis­ci­plined Transport sec­tor. the car­nage on the roads, from unli­censed taxi-cabs, dark-tint­ed cabs over­tak­ing at dan­ger­ous points where such activ­i­ties is pro­hib­it­ed. Drinking alco­hol and smok­ing weed while dri­ving. Speeding dan­ger­ous­ly. And a host of oth­er ille­gal activ­i­ties have cost thou­sands of lives over the last decade alone.
The Government must bring this dis­rup­tive sec­tor to heel.
Not only has this sec­tor refused to obey the laws they have engaged in ter­ror­ist acts against the state’s bus­es by throw­ing rocks into the win­dows and set­ting them alight.

The Government can­not allow the very same peo­ple who neces­si­tat­ed the new law in the first place to deter­mine what the penal­ties should be for their trans­gres­sions and utter dis­dain for the rule of law.
We sim­ply can­not con­tin­ue to have the law-break­ers to have a say in what kind of penal­ty is met­ed out to them the law-break­ers.
If there are any [irra­tional­i­ty] in the bill which needs fix­ing, that should be done.
However, under no cir­cum­stances should the law­less trans­port sec­tor and their taxi-oper­a­tors, many of whom are hard­core crim­i­nals, have a say in the penal­ties that are in the pro­posed law.
Good gov­er­nance is about con­sen­sus, it is not about bow­ing down to a lob­by as a pre­vi­ous admin­is­tra­tion did in the lead up to the (INDECOM Act).
This law is still under­go­ing work and has demon­stra­bly cost count­less lives and innu­mer­able heartache thus far.
It is impor­tant that the Government get this one right and not screw up as a pre­vi­ous admin­is­tra­tion has on (INDECOM).
A gov­ern­ment must lead from the front regard­less of pop­u­lar per­cep­tions.
It can­not be about spit­ting on one’s fin­ger and see­ing where the wind blows.