Jul 8, 2010

PH drivers to get special licences|Trinidad Guardian

In a radical move aimed at assisting the travelling public, the Government is set to legalise the operations of PH taxi drivers. Acting Prime Minister Jack Warner confirmed this yesterday in an interview with the T&T Guardian. Warner, who is also Works and Transport Minister, said the measure would be implemented with the aim of assisting commuters in several remote districts across the country. Warner said the proposal had already been “discussed internally” and a note is to be taken by him to Cabinet shortly for consideration and approval.

On the surface this may sound like a good idea especially for people living in remote areas who dream of having a reliable taxi service or in some cases any taxi service. However, there are many thing that need to be considered and I do hope the government does not simply impliment this system without first considering the impact that it would have on the greater society.

Indeed it is good that people travelling in PH taxis would now have insurance coverage in the case of accidents where bodily injuries occur. We don't know how the new insurance structure will work and would it be the same for the legitimate "H" taxis?

Who will be able to get the new "PH" license and what are the conditions to qualify for this license? Is there going to be a police record check and would persons with a 'record' be allowed to obtain a license?

How would we be able to know that a certain vehicle is indeed a licensed "PH" taxi and not some bandit taking advantage of the system to rob hapless citizens? Would there be in place some form of identification for these vehicles? That would be good and this should be done by the state to help bring in additional revenues and to ensure the legitimacy of the procedure. Maybe a color coded license plate or some form of fixture on the vehicle to identify it as a legitimate "PH" taxi.

How about this... Why not get smaller vehicles for the bus company to use in the rural districts and have buses (fewer in number) running all night? That could help relieve the problem and avoid this entire "PH" problem. We have not heard from the legitimate taxi driver association to date. Now that should be interesting.

We can't fault the Minister for attempting to fix the problems but we need to ensure that what is done is done in the best interest of the people and country in general.






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