TONI THORNE: Pothole cost me two tyres
I HAD EVERY intention this Sunday to speak with you about the incident with the perfume vendor and how mind-boggling it was that Bajans find a new controversy to embrace as the weeks go by.
Halfway through writing the article I had to run an errand so I drove from St Philip and made my way to Bridgetown. In life, we really need to be careful what we put out there. Earlier this week, I made a promise to play a game with my two siblings the next time they were travelling in my car. We would call the game “Pothole Life” and they would count potholes during our journey.
En route to Bridgetown, when I reached the Garfield Sobers Roundabout I noticed other drivers beeping and flagging me. Earlier, the car dropped into an unavoidable pothole. However, it did not cross my mind that the drop would cost me another tyre.
Yes, I said “another”. Over the last year I have changed my tyres and had to get my rims fixed due to this “Pothole Life”. The worst experience I had was driving home with friends from a fete in the early hours of the morning from Bulkeley Factory, dropping into a pothole and damaging my tyre.
Can you imagine if I was driving alone? Well, I imagined it. What was imagined was one of those Lifetime movies where the damsel in distress is either slain as she either locks herself in her car until daybreak or whilst running home with one shoe on her foot. Wait…that’s Cinderella. Back to reality, I am glad that we managed to make it to Warrens with the flat (driving at 10km/hr). At the gas station we put some air into the tyre, drove to my home a few minutes away and I made all the necessary arrangements the following morning.
This “Pothole Life” is so bad that when I turned up at the leading automotive outlet in Barbados, the gentlemen did not even ask what the issue was.
Not a bad idea
Today was different. It was not only frustrating but I was “blue vex”! For the first time, I actually felt that all these calls to either boycott paying road tax or sign petitions or create memes about potholes on social media would not be bad ideas after all.
This “inconvenience of life” affected my entire day. They have not been inconveniences but, rather, nightmares. I am neither a minister nor Member of Parliament. I would bet that when compared with such we are not in the same income bracket. However, it is really disappointing to have to be paying for new tyres on these occasions.
I have family members that when I expressed my anger in the moment, their response was that I should drive carefully. Incurring damages from potholes does not mean one is not driving with due care and attention. These potholes would make someone swerve more than a drunk man after a dollar beer promo.
Persons on social media have also advised that we drive slower and pay more attention when driving. Between the lack of roadside lights and the potholes, I am not sure how anybody can do that.
Permit me to ask a question: if someone goes to MTW and shows evidence of the damage the very bad roads, coupled with the lack of street lights (Remember , I once dropped into a hole at 3 a.m.), have caused his or her car, is there any chance that said person would be able to get any compensation? Asking for a “friend”.
Toni Thorne is a young entrepreneur and World Economic Forum Global Shaper
who loves global youth culture, a great debate and living in paradise.