Minister of Youth, Family and Sports, Esther Byer Suckoo, adds her signature to??a petiton to enforce the ban of music on Barbados’ public service vehicles.??Also pictured (left to right) are Assistant National Coordinator of Operation Intercession, Rev. Paul Watson and National Coordinator, Rev. James Medford.??

There needs to be a strict enforcement of the ban of music on Public Service Vehicles (PSVs).

This plea was made yesterday by Minister of Youth, Family and Sports, Dr. Esther Byer Suckoo, following the receipt of a petition from members of an inter-denominational organisation, Operation Intercession, at the Ministry’s Constitution Road Headquarters.

The petition was presented by National Coordinator and Assistant National Coordinator, Rev. James Medford and Paul Watson, respectively.??

The Minister fully accepted the petition and also voiced her concern not only about the volume and content of the music being played in some PSVs, but also the culture and environment.

"The music that is being played on the PSV’s is a concern not only to the churches but to various sectors of our society.??

The volume of the music… continues to be a concern. It is probably not all the PSV’s but certainly the ones that you do hear are so prominent that they have made a bad name for the others," Dr. Byer Suckoo stated.

She also called for greater enforcement of the road traffic regulations, along with more monitoring of vehicles. "We know that the police do stop them from time to time and check them, but some more inspectors perhaps need to be in place and persons who can travel anonymously … to make note of what is happening and then to be able to address that situation," she said.

While reminding the public that although students could still travel free of charge on the Transport Board buses, she urged PSV operators to demand the correct behaviour from students who still opted to utilise their services for whatever reason.??

"I want to call on drivers and conductors of minibuses to change the culture on minibuses and it has to start with them.??They have to treat people with respect, they have to treat their passengers with respect, they have to treat other road users with respect and then demand respect and proper behaviour on their buses," the Minister stated.

In outlining the reasons for the petition, Rev. Watson explained that his organisation and the BEA were deeply concerned that the minibus and ZR culture was promoting negative behaviour through "the profoundly lewd and violent music played on these PSVs."

The petition calls on the Barbados Government to enforce the ban of music on PSV’s with immediate effect, as required under the Road Traffic Act Cap. 295.

The inter-parish prayer movement, with chapters in every parish of the island, successfully garnered signatures of 50,000 members of the Barbados Evangelical Association (BEA) and 1,500 from members of independent churches.

Operation Intercession started in April 1988 at the White Park Wesleyan Holiness Church and later developed into an inter-denominational prayer meeting. By 1991, the organisation had grown to the inter-parish and interdenominational levels.

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