Sunday 2nd March, 2008

Peter Quentrall-Thomas
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Dogs better than guns

It gets worse.

I have been reliably informed by a contact inside the Defence Force that the guns the soldiers carried on the road during the Carnival celebrations were not semi-automatic, which normally requires one pull of the trigger for each shot, but fully automatic weapons that keep firing, so long as you hold the trigger in the firing position.

I’m not sure what type they use, but if it’s anything like an Uzi, it can fire 600 rounds a minute. So imagine a soldier just pressed the trigger for ten seconds, 100 bullets would be fired.

Can you imagine the carnage in a crowded carnival band with 100 people shot in ten seconds!

What madness!

The officer who authorised those soldiers to take those weapons on the streets should be court marshalled for endangering public safety.


It boggles the imagination. Presumably, the Ministry of Works and Transport is responsible for paving half the road outside San Fernando Technical Institute.

Everyone knows this road is unstable, and any paving is a waste of time. But at least pave both sides of the road, nah man!

The real solution would be proper soil stabilisation and a concrete road, but I suppose that would mean someone in the ministry would have to write a new specification.

Lawless police

I want the Police Commissioner to ask the officers who were in police vehicle PBZ 3673, at 1.02 pm on February 7, why they didn’t charge the drivers of the 30 vehicles parked on the emergency shoulder of the Solomon Hochoy Highway outside the rum shop just south of the Freeport flyover?

They stopped right at the end of the parked vehicles, so they couldn’t claim to have missed them.

There was even a 40-foot-long truck, loaded with “Link Belt” crane weights, parked there.

Can you imagine the carnage if a vehicle had a blowout while passing all these vehicles?

And remember, to pull out, the vehicles in the middle had to start from zero mph and merge into traffic moving at 50 mph or more. A surefire recipe for more highway fatalities.

2020 Awards

After giving the police a hard time lately, I must recognise them when they do good things.

So, my first 2020 award goes to Couva police for clearing away all those old wrecks of cars right in the main street that were such an eyesore.

I note they seem to be stacked three-cars-high along the side of the police station now. I only hope they don’t expect the port workers to come and “unstuff” them. Occupational health and safety and all that!

Maybe they could go and clear up the disgrace that is St Joseph Police Station scrap yard. It is a real eyesore next to one of our most beautiful mosques.

Show some respect, fellas.

My second 2020 award goes to the new K9 Division of the Police Service based in the Police Academy.

They were on patrol at Piarco just after Carnival, and on speaking with one of the officers, I was impressed with the fact that more and more of the training is being done locally, not only in drug interdiction, but in apprehending aggressive people, etc.

Now, if you are really serious about dealing with thugs in the crowds during Carnival, dogs are the way to go, rather than a soldier with a gun that he dare not fire.

I would like to be able to tell you to go to the T&T Police Web site to learn more…, but guess what? As at February 7, it wasn’t working.

Just a thought.

2020 driving penalties

To give you some idea of the penalties a 2020 country like the UK applies to drivers who break the law, I went to, and found this table. (See above)

I have converted the fines into TT dollars at $10 to £1.

Yes, those aren’t typos. Your eyes aren’t playing tricks. That’s TT$50,000 for failing to stop after an accident, driving while drunk, or having no insurance.

Do you know what the fine for breaking a red light is in T&T? $100.

Yes, that’s right. Something that could result in major loss of life and the fine is “a blue note.”

So when are our jokey politicians and police personnel going to get serious about passing and enforcing laws with real teeth?

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