CHAOS AT ROAD TRAFFIC IS NOTHING NEW UNDER THE PLP

Feb 26, 2024

January 28, 2024

While the Davis PLP Administration continues with its whirlwind tours, the victimization of
senior public officers, and packing the top of the Public Service with retired persons and crony
consultants, governing the country is left as a side gig.
The current fiasco at the Road Traffic Department is a prime example.
The Davis PLP Administration has allowed the temporary facilities that house Road Traffic to
fall into an appalling state of disrepair, dilapidation and PLP decay.
The facilities at the Sports Centre are falling apart and overrun by rodents, driving the staff out
and cramming them into the West Bay Street and Carmichael Road substations. These small
outlying facilities were not designed to handle the regular monthly flow of vehicle registrations
and issuing of driver's licenses that pass through the Sports Centre facility for any given month.
Further complicating the matter is the nonsensical requirement that the West Bay Street
substation only transact using credit and debit cards.
January through March is the busiest period for Road Traffic activities. Besides the regular birth
month vehicle registrations and driver's license issuances, this period covers the following:
• Company Vehicles Registration
• Public Service vehicle registration
• Public Service Driver's Licenses Renewal
• Government Vehicles Registration
The substations cannot accommodate this volume of activities, and forcing the department to
operate at this level has only heightened public frustration. Customers with simple matters face
long lines and painful delays.

It is unbelievable that in 2024, the Road Traffic Department is operating as it did pre-1992;
before the FNM government implemented vehicle registration at birth month, introduced the
photo driver's licenses, and established substations at Elizabeth Estates, South Beach, Cable
Beach, and West Bay Street at rent-free facilities. An efficient Ministry of Transport is critical
for a growing economy.
We urge the Davis PLP Administration to immediately reopen the Road Traffic Department
substations at Elizabeth Estate, South Beach, and Cable Beach to provide these essential services
to the Bahamian people. Bahamians will recall that the PLP government closed these substations
during their time in office in 2012. Hundreds of thousands of the Bahamian people's tax dollars
were wasted, paid to a PLP supporter to prepare his place for rental to the Road Traffic
Department. Of course, the building was never fixed, and the PLP supporter took the FNM
government to court even though the building was not fit for occupancy.
We were disappointed but not surprised that the Davis PLP Administration settled with their
supporter for millions of dollars. It is shameful that, once again, the PLP government is seeking
to rent from the same former Parliamentarian — doing the same thing over and over again and
expecting different results.
As is the case in many areas of the public service, veteran permanent and pensionable staff
members are being passed over at the senior level by contract workers for political reasons. The
license plate printer is down, and we are told that printing is now taking place on two family
islands, raising concerns about the expensive and unnecessary duplication of licenses. Despite
this, we are told that the corrected licenses will not be printed until the government pays the New
Zealand firm that services Road Traffic the substantial funds it is owed.
Here's the bottom line: mismanaged resources and PLP cronyism have cost too many Bahamian
motorists time and money. The Minister of Energy and Transport must be held accountable for
the mess unfolding under her watch.

Hon. Michael C. Pintard, M.P.
Leader of the Free National Movement

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