Indifference and Not Enough Inspections

Miguel Arias Sanchez

Havana bus.

HAVANA TIMES — Two days ago, I took the A-7 bus heading towards Guanabacoa. When I got on, I realized that the 50-something year old bus driver had a very beautiful young girl next to him inside his protection booth, the conversation seemed to be quite pleasant as they were both bursting into laughter.

The first thought and fear I suddenly had was when the driver heard the voice of somebody he knew shouting at him from the pavement; he braked sharply which sent all of the passengers forward, and some even fell on top of others. People immediately began to shout things at him like: animal, you’re transporting people here, brute, etc. The driver didn’t take it personally and continued to speed, passing bus stops and deciding, according to his convenience, where to stop the bus.

Not one transport inspector could be seen along the entire journey, just one at the Guanabacoa Lighthouse stop, where the driver did stop at the right place.

Even though you do see a lot more inspectors at official stops in the day, we still need a lot more. I haven’t seen a secret inspector ever on a bus, like what used to happen before when the driver who put his girlfriend or wife next to him while playing thumping music, never drove a bus again in his life because he was severely punished; a punishment which not only served as an example to others, but protected so many passengers’ lives. Today, these inspectors either don’t exist or they’re not doing their job properly. That’s why so many drivers feel free to do what they want when at work; because they know that nobody is controlling them.

Many traffic accidents are a result of not paying attention and losing control of the vehicle. They cost human lives and cause material damage which could be prevented, not to mention the pain families suffer. Drivers like this one on the A-7, instead of being responsible at the wheel of a bus, should be washing cars at the bus station terminal, or planting sugar cane, working the land to help the national economy grow, where they aren’t a threat to their fellow citizens who lose their lives because of them.

Miguel Arias

Miguel Arias Sánchez: I was born in Regla in 1949. That’s where I went to elementary and high school. Afterwards I took courses to be a teacher and did that for several years. I did my military service and as soon as I got out I studied formally to be a teacher graduating at the University of Havana. I taught in classrooms for nearly 20 years. I had the opportunity to travel and see another reality. I returned and am currently doing different self-employed activities.

One thought on “Indifference and Not Enough Inspections

  • Someone I knew worked at the control center for Havana’s public transportation (in the building just behind the ViAzul terminal in Nuevo Vedado). It was her job to field complaints from irate bus riders. She took her job seriously, taking down the name, address, phone #, Metro-bus #, time of day the incident happened, and other particulars about each complaint. Although she passed this information on to her superiors, in most cases nothing was done. This lack of response adversely effected her: her blood pressure shot up, she couldn’t sleep well at night, she became anxious and nauseous and other physical symptoms manifested themselves. Finally, she could take it no more and was able to change jobs. She now works for the legal system, and is so conscientious that she takes work home with her many nights to get caught up. Too bad Havana’s public transportation system lost such a conscientious and dedicated employee!

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