A West Coast Demerara businessman is ready to move to the courts since he believes that Police, without authority, are unlawfully forcing minibus operators to remove their ‘wrap designs’.The proprietor of Unstoppable Auto Sales, whose only name was given as Danny, explained his misery and noted that the minibuses are only designed to “catch the passengers’ eyes”.A few of the wrapped minibuses at the Square of the RevolutionHe explained that he has several buses that work on the West Bank and West Coast of Demerara; and in one instance, when a Police Officer stopped his driver, he said he did not care whether the colours of the wrap design were on the registration or not, he wanted to see a “plain bus”.On Friday, Danny posted that one of his minibuses was detained at the Vreed-en-Hoop Police Station simply because of an ‘XO’ design was at the front of the bus. He noted that his ‘fitness’ was even revoked for the modest design.The businessman claims this type of Police behaviour is unlawful, and he even had one of his colleagues consult a lawyer on the issue.When Guyana Times contacted that colleague, who gave his name as Justus, he related, “We have a couple of buses working on the road because of course that’s a source of income for us, and we are getting some issues with the Police because they are telling us that they don’t want this stripe and that stripe, and all the colours on the bus are on the registration and I don’t know why they are locking up these buses, and we are losing a lot of days’ work. “I made contact with my lawyer, and we were seeking to get some advice as to why (this is so), and he was saying that as far as he knows, there is no law which says that you cannot have more than one colour on your vehicle or so”.Justus further stated that hundreds of thousands of dollars were invested to make the buses attractive to passengers. He argued that now more money will be spent to remove those designs and respray the buses.Contacted, Police Public Relations Officer Jairam Ramlakhan said he was unable to say specifically which section of the law dictates that minibuses should be plain-coloured.He therefore referred this publication to Traffic Chief Ramesh Ashram, who also failed to say specifically which section of law provides for buses to be plain-coloured. Ashram would say only that the provisions for this initiative are in the Motor Vehicles and Road Traffic Act 51:02.As such, the businessman is gearing to file his lawsuit against the Guyana Police Force via his attorney. He is likely to secure the support of the scores of drivers whose minibuses have been seized over the past few weeks. Back in March, a campaign was implemented to strip all minibuses that had wrap designs. The defaulting vehicles were taken to the Brickdam Police Station.The acting Traffic Chief had estimated that over 30 minibuses had breached the traffic regulations by possessing these ‘wraps’.Meanwhile, the affected drivers have related that the initiative has affected their livelihood, as they continue to lose money while their minibuses are parked.Citizens who use the buses as sole source of transportation also expressed their concern, noting that when the minibuses were not functioning, it was difficult to get to their destinations. However, the acting Traffic Chief noted that this could be avoided if the traffic rules and regulations are followed.Following this episode, minibus operators had staged a protest calling for the Police to put an end to the campaign. They said they feel they are being harassed. The vibrantly coloured buses were registered to the following routes: Kitty-Campbellville (40), Stabroek-South (41), Georgetown-Timehri (42), Georgetown-Mahaica (44), Stabroek-Albert (45) and Stabroek-Sophia (48).
The petition was filed in Washington by Brown’s office, supported by Earthjustice, Friends of the Earth, Center for Biological Diversity and Oceana. “The EPA has the authority to curb greenhouse gas emissions and our petition asks the agency to make specific findings that ships significantly contribute to global warming,” Brown said during a teleconference. The Bush administration, overall, opposes mandatory curbs on greenhouse gas emissions. Brown and other California officials already have been pushing for greater emission controls on vehicles and power plants. Bush administration officials, including the U.S. EPA, did not immediately respond to Brown. The Pacific Merchant Shipping Association, which represents 70 companies that own and operate cargo carriers, declined to comment. In a statement on its Web site, the PMSA says its “member companies are already proactively working to reduce emissions by exploring the use of a wide variety of cleaner fuels, engines, and retrofit technologies that exceed any existing requirements.” Environmental groups scoff at the assertion, saying the association is battling government efforts to address emission standards. Brown acknowledged the difficulty of what he’s asking of the Bush administration. International law governs ocean-going vessels. Virtually all the ships that transport cargo to the United States are registered under foreign flags. United Nations’ groups have mulled the matter for years buy have yet to take action. Even so, Brown said federal officials could take limited actions. “International legal rights do not include polluting the air or water near our coastal cities,” Brown said. “If the United States is to do its part in reducing the threat of global climate disruption, the EPA must limit the global warming emission from ships that enter U.S. ports.” State regulators and California port officials are considering rules to require that ships reduce speed as they near the shore, reducing emissions, and plug into electric outlets while they unload, since power can be generated more cleanly ashore. Proponents of a crackdown on ship emissions said the issue is of prime importance because studies show vessel emissions are expected to increase 75 percent over the next two decades as global trade expands. Contact Steve Geissinger at [email protected] or (916) 447-9302. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Attorney General Jerry Brown and national environmental groups demanded Wednesday the Bush administration address greenhouse-gas emissions from smoke-belching ships that Brown believes contribute significantly to global warming. Brown and the environmentalists contend that ocean-going vessels contribute up to 5 percent of the world’s greenhouse gases – roughly the same amount as all vehicles driven in the U.S. Ships burn enormous amounts of bunker oil – the dirtiest petroleum product of all – as they crisscross the high seas and make more than 10,000 stops annually at California ports, such as those in Los Angeles, Long Beach and Oakland. Brown petitioned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to adopt strict federal government regulations limiting greenhouse gas emissions from container ships, cruise liners, oil tankers and other large vessels that make calls at American ports.
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The continued dip in the ag economy is causing farmers to give pause when it comes to justifying every dollar that is being spent. For many producers in Northwest Ohio that dollar would be well spend on Soybean Cyst Nematode testing, according to DuPont Pioneer Account Manager Chasitie Euler. She gives more details to The Ohio Ag Net’s Ty Higgins in this week’s DuPont Pioneer Field Report.