The Law of the Land says that vehicles used as means of transportation on roadways should be appropriately licensed.
Our chief law enforcement agency, the Police Force has fallen down badly in this regard. Once, many decades ago, bicycles were licensed. Carts transporting goods and passengers, likewise, had to be licensed.
Interestingly, and yes, amazingly, a means of revenue for the Government of the Bahamas was allowed to go down the drain, when officers about 40 years ago, became blind to bicycle owners breaking the law. Subsequently, through the years, other modes of transportation, needing licenses, some primarily of the recreation kind, came on stream.
While motor vehicles have had to toe the line so to speak, and carry licenses, successive governments through the years, missed out on an alarming amount of revenue, by simply not enforcing the law and penalizing the guilty vehicle owners.
Rather than carry out the law, regarding unlicensed (non-motor) vehicles, those responsible in law have merely gone through the motion by mouthing warnings. On Tuesday, the Freeport News carried an article that featured Superintendent Jeremy Henfield, the Officer-In-Charge of Traffic Division (GB), following the pattern.
He issued a warning and a request for “bicycles, four wheelers and other terrain vehicles (ATVs) to be licensed and registered.” Thousands of the same are in use and if the proper protocol was insisted upon by Superintendent Henfield and his colleagues in law, hundreds of thousands of dollars would be channeled into the Treasury.
We put it to Henfield and the GB Police Department, as well as their peers throughout the country, nothing will be done about enforcing the law in this instance.
The owners of these vehicles will continue to break a law that has been overlooked for an incredibly long time. The culture indeed will remain the same, unless the Police turn over a new leaf and go after the defenders.
This issue has been brought up many times before. Some senior officer is usually trotted out to make statements that seemingly are not intended to have lawful follow-ups.
Why waste time?
To the Police we say, if you have no intention of making arrests and changing the outlook for owners of the vehicles in question, many of them unaware of the law, stop the hypocrisy.
The constitution dictates that the law of the land be upheld in all cases.
All of the Officers of the Court understand how the system should operate.