Tag Archives: Barbados Bus Accident

British tourist complains of dangerous bus rides “Lucky to be alive”

Barbados Bus Accidents

Dear Barbados Free Press,

So sorry to hear of yet another serious bus crash here in Barbados. I am not in the least surprised as my husband and I who are on holiday from England think ourselves lucky to be alive after a horrendous yellow bus ride last Friday!! We had lunch at Mullins Beach and were returning to Holetown when we refused to get on one bus as it was well overloaded.

We got on the next bus to find ourselves being shouted at to move back up the bus to let more people on. There was no room to move and we hung on for grim death, even the fare collector was hanging out the door!  Continue reading

21 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Crime & Law, Police

Top-Heavy death traps: 18 casualties as another minibus overturns – “5 critical, 4 severe”

Barbados Bus Accidents

Barbados Bus Accident Injury

(Photos courtesy of Nation News & Barbados Today)

“Our minibuses are badly designed. They are difficult to control and are far too unstable for a vehicle transporting our loved ones.”

Another minibus driver loses control – “5 critical, 4 severe”

Can the Barbados government deny the truth any longer? Our minibuses are poorly engineered, top-heavy death traps that are inherently unstable even when only half full.

How many more similar accidents do we need to see before we do something to correct the problem? How many more dead and injured will it require?

37 injured in Minibus tip-over in 2012

37 injured in Minibus tip-over in 2012

“Another day, another horrific traffic accident with lives, faces and families ruined.

You’re looking at an overturned minibus on Pinders Bottom Main Road in St. George. Thirty seven people hurt with 5 critically injured.”

From the March 15, 2012 BFP story Another mass casualty bus accident: 37 injured, 5 critical

The minibuses are involved in way too many tip-overs, but even when they stay on their wheels they sway badly and the drivers often struggle to maintain control. You see it happening! How often have you seen minibuses veer over the road center? It’s an everyday happening and so common that drivers know to keep an eye on an oncoming minibus and move over a little bit just in case something happens.

How many minibus accidents are caused by the poor handling, even if the bus doesn’t tip over? I’d bet there are plenty. Yes, speed and recklessness are factors as is poor maintenance – but speed and maintenance alone cannot account for the slaughter. There is something wrong with the buses.

In aviation, there comes a time when you have to stop blaming the pilots and start blaming a bad airplane. Continue reading

35 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues, Disaster

Another mass casualty bus accident: 37 injured, 5 critical

8 Ambulances, Scores of Police, Fire, Barbados Defence Force members respond

Another day, another horrific traffic accident with lives, faces and families ruined. You’re looking at an overturned minibus on Pinders Bottom Main Road in St. George. Thirty seven people hurt with 5 critically injured.

There’s no indication as to how many people the bus was carrying* but if you’ve ridden one of the yellow perils you know that 37 people is getting top heavy and makes bus sway and shift. Was the suspension in good shape? If a spring broke we might hear about it, but if there was a general lack of maintenance that contributed to this accident they will bury that deep. Don’t want to hurt the tourism industry you know. They might make the driver the scapegoat when the big factor was the bus wasn’t safe to drive. We’re just guessing here, but who knows what they will do.

(* Latest report says 37 passengers plus the driver and that the bus ‘skidded on oil’ – Barbados Today)

Why are we so cynical and critical when it comes to mass-casualty bus accidents? We’ve learned to be because there are never any satisfactory answers as to cause or remedial actions taken afterwards. We’ve learned.

Had the driver been drinking? The police will have to guess because they have no laws or tools to do otherwise.

And, once again, our Royal Barbados Police Force cannot complete a professional accident investigation because we have no laws giving them power to demand tests to see how much the driver had been drinking.

Successive Barbados governments promised to pass modern anti-drunk driving laws for decades. Our BLP and DLP governments talked about setting and enforcing maintenance and driver standards for public transportation vehicles. They promised to build safer roads and increase traffic law enforcement. They promised much and delivered little.

The government’s neglect proves that our leaders don’t see passenger safety in public transit as a priority. The carnage continues. Visitors from the United Kingdom have a 240% higher chance of being killed in a motor vehicle accident in Barbados than back at home.

Whatever happened to this mini-bus, I’d bet my house that it could have been prevented with a little less speed, a little wider road and a little more maintenance.

And true to form whenever there is a new mass-casualty road accident, Health Minister Donville Inniss says… don’t worry, government has formed a committee!

“We’ve seen the establishment of the Road Safety Council chaired by the Prime Minister and we will be getting very busy over the next couple of months as we seek to address the issue of safety on our roads and endeavour to reduce the number of accidents on Barbados’ roads,” (Minister Inniss) said.

Barbados Today: Job well done!

Further Reading

Barbados Today: Trauma and terror

Nation News: Mass Casualty in St. George

Photos courtesy of The Nation.

28 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Disaster

Driver in Barbados mass casualty bus accident “hung over and smelled of drink” ?

35 bus passengers injured but police did not test drivers for drinking or drugs

In the last week Barbados Free Press received several emails and comments from different (anonymous or unconfirmed) readers claiming that one of the bus drivers of the April 6, 2010 Market Hill bus vs bus accident had been out drinking the night before and may have still been hung over at the time of the accident.

Two of the readers provided the same name of this “hung over” driver. One reader stated that they were sure that the police investigating the accident knew the driver still smelled of drink from the night before but it was decided that the driver wasn’t drunk enough to charge under the current law. That reader also provided the name of one of the police officers who is involved in the accident investigation and said that the police desperately wish they had breathalyzer equipment and appropriate laws for situations just like this.

Standpipe rumour or fact?

Barbados Free Press often receives “rumours” from anonymous readers, most of whom are just trying to relate what they have heard or seen. Sometimes, however, folks send us information where they might have a political or other agenda, or perhaps they are just trying to create mischief. It is often difficult for us or anyone to tell the difference especially if the mis-information is mixed in with a good dose of proven facts.

But unknown agendas by anonymous or known sources have always been part of the challenge of publishing news. (Just ask Reuters, the LA Times or the New York Times!) The good thing about the blogs is that once something is published the entire community becomes a resource and knowledge base.

So what’s the story folks? Can anyone confirm or deny these rumours?

And PLEASE – do NOT identify which driver you’ve heard was drinking because we shall remove all such comments.

Thanks!

6 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Police

29 Injured as Bus “Brakes Sharply” and Wheels fall off!

Barbados Bus Accidents

Don’t try to tell me this is normal!

The rear wheels were ripped from a Transport Board bus when it “braked sharply”, according to an article in The Nation.

My question is, “Why did the wheels come off?”

Was it metal fatigue? Lack of maintenance? Improper installation? Corrosion?

How many other buses are in similar precarious condition? What is the Transport Board going to do to ensure that its buses are safe?

Here’s the article from The Nation, but naturally the paper asks none of the above questions and makes no observations other than the wheels came off the bus.

From reading The Nation, one would think that this is a perfectly normal occurrence!

17 Comments

Filed under Barbados