Brakes on driver
Minibus drivers should not be criminalised or imprisoned because they break the law.
This was the view of many-time traffic offender and minibus driver David Boyce who declared it was very hard to drive a minibus and not commit traffic infractions.
The Rock Dundo, St James driver’s comments came in the District “A” Traffic Court yesterday when he was brought in by police after successfully eluding court marshals for almost two years.
“Just ’cause we are driving minibus, we don’t think we deserve to get report and lock up all the time so,” he told Magistrate Graveney Bannister.
“It is very difficult to drive minibus and not break the law. I don’t plan to break the law. It is just happen when I out working and looking for money,” he said.
Boyce had just answered 21 traffic charges, ranging from playing music on the bus, to driving with the passenger door open, to being off route while he was working different routes.
He pleaded guilty to 19 of them – two he denied saying he never worked that minibus – and opted to spend 125 days in prison, instead of paying $3 500 in forthwith fines. He was also disqualified, by Magistrate Bannister, from driving all public service vehicles for a year. If he breaches that disqualification he will spend 30 days in prison.
Boyce has traffic convictions predating 2015 and has appeared before eight different magistrates.
“You really feel you should do prison for doing a honest job?” Boyce asked the court.
“But if you are doing an honest job dishonestly . . . ,” countered Magistrate Bannister.
The minibus driver further pointed to what he saw as hypocrisy from lawmen.
He said while police would report him for playing music, those same police would get in his bus when they were going to and from work and nod their heads to his “slow, clean, dancehall”.
Boyce further said: “One morning a police report me for picking up people by KFC and the very next day, he was talking to a woman and he stop the van the same place and put her on.”
However, Magistrate Bannister knocked his attitude saying Boyce had shown no remorse for his actions.
“Your attitude to driving is the wrong one.
With your attitude you should not be driving,” the magistrate declared.
“But what I could do? I don’t think I should I go to prison for working minibus,” Boyce repeated, saying his driver’s licence was his “only CXC.”
The court also sought to find out where Boyce had been in the last two years, to which he replied: “Barbados”.
A court marshal later told the court he received information that Boyce was working the Speightstown route on Wednesday and he called that police from Holetown Station.
He said the motorcycle cop pulled over the bus which Boyce was driving and ordered him to park it in the station. But Boyce told the lawman the spaces in there were tight and he would park the bus in the lay-by by Massy and walk back.
And, said the marshal, Boyce did start to walk to the station, but turned and ran. Police gave chase and eventually caught up with Boyce by Cave Shepherd in Sunset Crest.
Boyce admitted to the court he only stopped after the cop pulled his gun.
“So if the police didn’t pull his gun, you would have kept running?” the magistrate asked.
“Yes, sir,” Boyce replied. (HLE)