When I first became aware of the story I actually had a seizure, I was so stunned; I must confess that I had absa-phaking-lutely NO idea that PSV drivers were penalised for misuse of and misconduct on our roads. The impunity with which some of them flout traffic laws led me to the (I think, quite reasonable) conclusion that some government or other had, in an uncharacteristic moment of implementation efficiency, granted PSV drivers immunity from all traffic laws. I’d always just assumed that I’d slept late that morning.
Once I had been disabused of my misguided notion, I responded to the minibus and ZR men, as did many Bajans, with derision! I mockingly suggested that the men were suffering from carbon monoxide induced brain damage from inhaling all the exhaust fumes while on the road, I marvelled at how grown men could entertain such silly notions and I glibly suggested that if they could not afford the fines all they need do is stop breaking the frigging law. I would like to publicly apologise for this.
I am not backing down from my position I still think that, “give me an ease so I can continue to break the law and recklessly endanger people!” is an asinine and untenable premise, but I recognise now that my finger pointing and othering of the PSV drivers was nothing more than a symptom of mental laziness and a gross failure to see the larger and profoundly profound (LOL) message they were sending. A message so profound and timely that it matters little if it was being sent advertently (there’s a word you seldom hear) or inadvertently.
My first inkling that I wasn’t seeing the bigger picture came when, whilst on a ZR, I noticed that when PSV drivers stop (and they do it quite often) at a place other than a bus stop it is almost NEVER to pee. I further noticed that when they overload their vehicles (this was not mentioned in the report but they are often fined for it too) it is NEVER with sacks of yams, which, as we all know science has proven lack the capacity to refuse to board a vehicle.
PSV drivers, it turns out, are very much like politicians, inasmuch as, like our politicians we often see them on the frontline… doing a buriffle of shite! And though (again like our politicians) they too have their “yard fowls” (people who have an irrational devotion to a particular driver or vehicle) most of us just thinly tolerate them because (one more time…like our politicians) they provide an essential service… badly.
It is precisely because of this high profile that they are very easy targets for ridicule and unrestrained criticism; We complain about how recklessly they drive, we gripe about their rudeness and the poor quality of the service they provide, how they only studying money, and they putting people’s lives in danger and they, and they, and they. We often speak about our PSV drivers as if they derive from a separate dimension or at least another planet and are really only connected to us inasmuch as they are here … now… fucking up road traffic and as with our politicians, we turn a wilfully blind eye to our own culpability in encouraging and perpetuating their deviant behaviour.
We are in total denial that “they” (Psv drivers and politicians) are EXACTLY like US (which makes sense since “they” are “us”).