Daily Archives: July 25, 2006

Barbados Government To Ban Cell Phones While Driving

We see this in the Barbados Labour Party Blog this morning…

Government will be introducing legislation to parliament to ban the use of cell phones while operating a motor vehicle.

This practice has been found to be a major hazard as holding and using the phone presents a major distraction to motorists. However the “handsfree” variety will still be allowed.

This brings us inline with many metropolitan cities as they have recognised the inherent danger and taken action.

We would like to hear from the bloggers on this issue.

BLP Blog link here.

Our Comments

Banning cell phone use while driving is a no-brainer – with many jurisdictions either imposing an outright ban, or requiring the use of voice-dialing and hands-free kits (Our choice and the Government’s initiative).

According to The Nation News, the government will also be presenting the following highway law changes today…

To allow for the traffic ticket to be used as a summons to facilitate the effective administration of the ticketing system;

Ensuring drivers of certain vehicles be requested to obtain special licences in order to drive those vehicles;

Adjustments to the speed limits for various categories of vehicles;

The introduction of controls for the transport of hazardous materials; and

The restriction of the use of cellphones by motorists except the hands-free sets and communication devices fitted to the helmets of the police and other emergency personnel.

Drinking and Driving Still Not Effectively Addressed

All of this is a good start, but unfortunately doesn’t address the problem of drinking and driving – which is a concern on Barbados.

Unless there is something about the new legislation that the newspapers haven’t covered, Barbados still lacks an effective drinking and driving law.

If we are really concerned about public safety, we must have effective drinking-driving laws in place and equip the police with modern breathalizers and train enough officers as technicians to ensure 24/7 coverage.

So while we are pleased with the Government’s initiative as far as it goes, we can only give it a “B-Minus” or even “C-Plus” grade in terms of overall road safety performance.

How long would it take to get an effective drunk driving law and testing equipment & personnel in place? Six months if we started today?

How about it MPs? Can you make it happen in six months?

Advertisements

9 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Island Life, Politics & Corruption

Whitewater West Waterslides “Problematic, Cracking” In Hays Aquatic Park, Kansas

hays-waterpark-problem.jpg

As with any company that has been in business for a while, the engineering firm hired to create the controversial Caribbean Splash Waterpark in Graeme Hall, Barbados has had a few unsatisfied customers.

What is unusual about today’s story is that Whitewater West Industries appear to have taken a very short-sighted position with the City of Hays, Kansas, USA – which forced the city council into litigation over a relatively small amount. (Less than $50,000, which is peanuts in the world of water parks)

According to the information on the web, the City of Hays did everything it could to have Whitewater West remedy defects in the waterslides at the Hays Aquatic Park – but when Whitewater refused to deal with the defects, the city was forced to replace the waterslides with new ones from another manufacturer and then sue Whitewater West Industries.

Here are a few excerpts from the web…

From the Hays Town Council Meeting December 16, 2004 (link here)

Hays Aquatic Park Slides: Staff is proposing to replace two slides at the Hays Aquatic Park at a cost of $48,900 to be paid out of the Pool Sales Tax Fund. The existing slides have been a concern since they were originally installed. Both slides have had numerous cracks and imperfections in the jelcoat and attempts have been made to repair the damage. Attempts to resolve this problem with Whitewater West Industries, the manufacturer of the slides, has been to no avail.

The City Attorney will continue to try to resolve this issue with the firm.

But when the City Attorney couldn’t get any satisfaction from Whitewater West Industries, the council voted to rip out the Whitewater West slides and replace them with slides made by someone else…

From the Hays town council meeting, December 23, 2004 (link here)…

7. HAYS AQUATIC PARK SLIDES:

The original water slides at the Hays Aquatic Park have been problematic since they were first installed. The slides were originally purchased from Whitewater West Industries. Whitewater has clearly indicated that they will not repair or replace either slide. Another vendor, Splashtacular, Inc., can construct a new family slide to fit the existing frame and footings as well as resurface the open flume slide for $48,900. An amount of $604,028.56 remains in the pool sales tax fund to pay for this project.

City Manager Gustafson stated the City Attorney will be taking whatever legal action is necessary to collect from Whitewater West Industries. Troy Hickman moved, Kent Steward seconded, that the purchase of a family water slide and resurfacing of the open flume slide at the Hays Aquatic Park for a total cost of $48,900 be approved.

Earlier BFP article about Whitewater West Industries Ltd… Caribbean Splash Designers On A Bad Day – 1 Dead, 34 Injured

Photo: Hays Aquatic Park, Hays Kansas (from their website)

15 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Environment, Island Life, Offshore Investments, Politics & Corruption

A Canadian Writes About Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary

graeme-hall-sanctuary-375.jpg

We received this article from an unknown Canadian who calls himself “The Travel Guy”…

“Someone has to be Joking”

My mother lamented about the history of Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary when we visited there last year. At 70 plus years, although Graeme Hall was a part of her history she had no idea what it looked like. She knew
that her family and many other families, in good and bad times had eaten fish from there over 60 yrs ago.
The re-development of Graeme Hall by a Canadian Investor brought to life a Jewel of Barbados History. Our family was completely amazed by what has been professionally done there to educate, preserve and conserve.

I reside in Canada and my connection to Barbados is through the Nation on line and my yearly visits. I keep a close eye on the pulse of Barbados Business and the incredible positive impact that Canadians have and
have had and are having in Barbados. Often I am impressed, yet I can also often laugh at the folly that is the mix of Barbados business and politics.

How is it possible this government has the absolute boldness to use its planning department to consider a Water Park in the very area and watershed that could likely put this fragile ecosystem in jeopardy?

The Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary redevelopment took many years of work, hoops and hurdles to jump through not to mention over 10million U.S invested. All these efforts were expended with the long term dream to preserve a critical green space for future generations of Barbadians and tourists. What has been given to Barbadians is a site that tries to balance
conservation, education, research and eco-tourism on what could be a self-sustaining basis ( only 10% used for eco-tourism ). How is it possible for the PM on Brass Tacks to compare the two as similar development
applications? Has he ever been there?

How is it possible for an environmental impact study to be conducted and presented with a complete absence of real transparency, which answers all the important questions? How can a supposed experienced American businessman have paid more than $100,000 for a very shoddy report unless it comes with planning approvals in place?

Canadians have billions of dollars invested in and through Barbadian companies. Is this the kind of abusive and mixed message the Barbados government means to give to Canadians? As a Barbadian/Canadian I am saddened and I question if our government has lost its moral compass to govern or do they or certain people who are entrusted with our future have a short term agenda that does not serve the long term aspirations of the people of Barbados?

The Travel Guy

photo: School Trip to the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary in Barbados. Photo borrowed from the GHNS website here. Somehow, we don’t think they will mind.

1 Comment

Filed under Barbados, Environment, Island Life, Politics & Corruption