As the administration in Kingston buries its head in the sand on the existential issue of crime, even matters of basic safety, seem to be outside of the abilities and scope of the people tasked with the nation’s security and safety.
A story caught my eyes in one of the local dailies today. Some residents of the western tourist town of Negril in Westmoreland are demanding that medians that were placed on the Norman Manley Boulevard,(rolling eyes at the idea of another edifice named after the Manleys), be removed forthwith. The medians were placed there to reduce speeding that has been causing crashes on the strip.
The residents and their mouthpieces argue that the medians are now damaged by speeding motorists and are now, adding to the reasons serious crashes occur on that strip of roadway.
Cognitive dissonance, I guess!
So, here we have a situation in which the medians were damaged by the same speeding motorists who refuse to adhere to the road traffic act’s dictates. The same motorists who continue to crash and kill other motorists and passengers they transport, making demands that the remedies applied, be removed.
The clueless member of Parliament, someone named Morland Wilson, stupidly joined the call to remove the medians.
The Member of Parliament had this to say, quote; “In December, I got reports of four accidents as a result of the medians. And when I say as a result – vehicle, literally, drive up on the medians. Some turned over, some lost control and hit walls and other cars and pedestrians. So, it is horrible.”
You cannot make these things up. This was the statement from a supposed leader of our country.
No mister member of parliament, the cause of the crashes cannot be attributed to the medians; they are directly a result of speeding motorists.
We cannot keep moving the goalpost of accountability so that we may appease lawbreakers. We are failing the country; we are marching the country into a failed state, status.
Just an aside for the member of parliament mister Wilson, there is a difference between what is considered an accident and what is considered a crash.
Accident; an unfortunate incident that happens unexpectedly and unintentionally, typically resulting in damage or injury.
Crash; this happens because of actions of one or more drivers through one or more events, i.e., speeding, reckless and careless driving, speeding, drunk driving, etc.
Therefore, it follows that for the most part, these [crashes] are resulting in the death of citizens because of one or more of the causes I laid out in the definition of [crash].
The medians were placed in the roadways to slow down drivers, instead of abiding by the new rules, the speeders continued speeding, damaging the infrastructure and snuffing out more lives.
The response from the residents and the member of parliament is nothing if not dystopian.
I am reminded of a joke my friend’s wife shared with me, (sorry Jackie, I had to borrow this one). She loves pork, and so she had a meal of pork and rice, she developed a stomach ache. She knew the pork caused her stomach ache, but she stopped eating rice.
Common sense dictates that the people know what is causing the crashes,(speeding), not the medians placed there, not the medians that the same speeding motorists now damage.
The member of parliament cannot be that dumb that he doesn’t understand that simple concept. But, taking stricter action to rein in these lawless motorists would be a bridge too far, so they want the medians removed, and their political representative concurs.
Why are you writing about parochial matters like medians in roadways?
Well, small things grow into big things; if we cannot stop motorists from speeding on a single strip of the roadway, how in God’s name can this same administration and police force stop crime on this Island?
Think about it!
Outside the obvious question of the Westmoreland, police inability to take drastic steps against those motorists, lies the even deeper issue of this administration backing away from taking action to stop criminals. Choosing instead, to back away from the lawbreakers.
It is stupid to do the same things and expect a different result, but that is only acceptable in ordinary people. When we elect leaders to represent us, we expect that they will make mistakes; what we do not expect, is to see our leaders make mistakes, fail to recognize those mistakes, and worse, refusing to remediate those mistakes out of arrogance.
This Administration can no longer pretend that its policies on crime are working. We knew they would not work; there is a full body of work in this medium outlining why they would not work.
Nevertheless, the Prime Minister exercised his prerogative and embarked on his fools mission.
We had no power to stop him, so we were forced to wait for the consequences; sadly, the results are many dead Jamaicans. As a former officer who walked those streets, pathways, and alleyways, I had seen the gory bodies laid bare as the blood dried in the dust on the sidewalks.
We did not need to see those dead bodies, the Prime Minister & his cabinet did, Andrew Holness, Horace Chang, Delroy Chuck, the cabal of criminal rights activists, et al. .…. oh, let us not forget Tony Anderson[sic].
Mike Beckles is a former Police Detective, businessman, freelance writer, a black achiever honoree, and publisher of the blog mikebeckles.com.