Emergency Legislation Needed To Bring Taxi-operators To Heel…

Continued reports that mem­bers of JATOO the Jamaica Association of Transport Owners and Operators, (taxi oper­a­tors to be pre­cise), are refus­ing to trans­port nurs­es out of igno­rant fear of the COVID-19 virus must be met with deci­sive gov­ern­men­tal action.
The Government had issued a warn­ing to taxi oper­a­tors who were engag­ing in this prac­tice, but warn­ings are not enforce­able if there are no laws to hold peo­ple account­able.
In times of cri­sis, worth­while gov­ern­ments leap into action and quick­ly draft leg­is­la­tion to deal with new even­tu­al­i­ties.
It is out of cri­sis sit­u­a­tions like the COVID-19 that loop­holes in our crim­i­nal codes are exposed and also exploit­ed.
This pan­dem­ic is a war, it is forc­ing peo­ple to change their ways of think­ing and their ways of liv­ing.
As a con­se­quence, the par­lia­ment must also spend extra time to come up with new leg­is­la­tion and get them to the Governor-General to be signed into law.
Warnings will not cut it, in the same ways that beg­ging crim­i­nals not to com­mit crimes does noth­ing to stop vio­lent crimes.

Some taxi oper­a­tors are decent peo­ple try­ing to make a liv­ing.
But it is unde­ni­able that among them, is a hard­core cadre of crim­i­nals who are extreme­ly dis­rup­tive, and law­less.
They fight & injury police offi­cers when they try to enforce the nation’s traf­fic laws, and what obtains as a par­lia­ment has done noth­ing to add teeth to the laws which would pro­tect our police offi­cers.
They kid­nap rape and mur­der women and lit­tle girls and turn their pas­sen­gers over to be robbed and killed.
They block streets and cre­ate pan­de­mo­ni­um, result­ing in major dis­rup­tions across the eco­nom­ic front of the coun­try.
It is for those rea­sons that as this cri­sis inten­si­fies, these crim­i­nals not be allowed to con­tin­ue to have their way and be a law unto them­selves by refus­ing to trans­port our health work­ers.
In order to bring this insan­i­ty to heel, the Parliament must go into an emer­gency ses­sion as if this is a shoot­ing war, and enact leg­is­la­tion to ensure the smooth run­ning of the coun­try.
Leaders lead, not beg or threat­en law­less peo­ple to obey laws that do not exist.
Draft new leg­is­la­tion now that makes it a crime to refuse to car­ry our nurs­es & oth­er health work­ers, pun­ish­able by a stiff fine on the first offense.
Any oth­er breach of the law should result in impris­on­ment and the total revo­ca­tion of all priv­i­leges to ever oper­ate a pub­lic pas­sen­ger vehi­cle again.

Mike Beckles is a for­mer Jamaican police Detective cor­po­ral, busi­ness­man, researcher, and blog­ger. 
He is a black achiev­er hon­oree, and pub­lish­er of the blog chatt​-​a​-box​.com. 
He’s also a con­trib­u­tor to sev­er­al web­sites.
You may sub­scribe to his blogs free of charge, or sub­scribe to his Youtube chan­nel @chatt-a-box, for the lat­est pod­cast all free to you of course.