A Government Senator today suggested that the vexing problem of potholes was a test from God, while challenging Barbadians to resist the temptation to complain.
Senator Jepter Ince, the parliamentary secretary in the Ministry of Economic Affairs, made the comments in the Upper House today during debate on the Road Traffic Amendment Bill 2017.
Ince said God had spared Barbados from the natural disasters this year, including drought and hurricanes, but He was now testing Barbadians with heavy rain which helped food crop farmers, but caused significant damage to the island’s road network resulting in a proliferation of potholes.
“The Lord said, ‘I’m going to test you with some potholes. I gave you rain; you had a drought and I gave you water. The farmers could plant, and I saved you from the hurricanes. The roofs are on and I am giving you bread, I’m giving you transportation, but all I am doing is testing you with some potholes’ and we in Barbados are quarrelling every day . . . . There are other people in other countries that would be glad if they were in a position that we are in today – hurricane ravaged countries.
“I am not saying that these things should not be done but let us give thanks for what we have,” Ince told the Senate chamber.
Meanwhile, addressing specifics in the new traffic regulations, the Government Senator condemned those who drove while under the influence of alcohol, saying violators of the laws must be rooted out.
Ince, who admitted he was once ticketed for illegal parking, told the Senate he learned his lesson and now used the public car parks provided in The City.
The Parliamentary Secretary said it was important to address many of the traffic violations taking place in the country, and described drinking and driving as “the height of stupidity”.
Noting the heavy fines that have been introduced for those who parked in spaces designated for persons with disabilities, Ince said there were too many people who disrespected the law, and it was incumbent on Government to ensure that guidelines were put in place.
As a result, he said efforts to regularize the operation of those businesses producing licence plates was absolutely necessary. In fact, he said fraudulent licence plates were linked to organized crime, a scourge that Barbados had to ensure was rooted out.