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‘PH’ identification system designed to prevent rapes
The proposed PH drivers’ identification system could have averted incidents of rape, such as that of the 13-year-old schoolgirl who was abducted and gang-raped on Tuesday while seeking transport to return home from school.
So said vice-president of the Auxiliary Transport Association (ATA) Michael Eastman.
Speaking in an interview with the T&T Guardian yesterday, Eastman said: “Our system would have dealt with all of that because the vehicle could have been easily identified and the men could have been traced. “We gave hundreds of names to senior police officers all across the country and the status of PH drivers, and they welcomed it and know all the drivers.”
Eastman said most if not all of the times when someone was raped, it was committed by someone from outside the area posing as a PH driver or taxi driver, since he believes no one who works regularly in a certain area would commit that kind of crime along the same route.
The association’s initiatives to prevent or eliminate rapes consisted of identifying drivers from different zones, assigning each driver a specific code number to be displayed in the driver’s car and providing the information to the police. He said the ATA proposed to the Government, a system similar to a bus pass to be displayed on every windscreen or colour-coded for different districts, but it was never finalised.
“If someone comes to your vehicle they could easily identify the driver, based on a number system for the area,” Eastman said. “The victim doesn’t have to remember the perpetrator’s face, just the identification number on a sticker as to who was using the vehicle that day. “So no one from Chaguanas could come Laventille and work, no one from Carenage could go in South and work, you had to be identified by a specific number.”
Eastman said before getting into a car, a passenger will be afforded the opportunity to text the designated driver’s number to his or her loved ones at home to update them on their movements. Plans to license PH drivers are in limbo, as legislation has not yet been amended to provide for this, and the Association of T&T Insurance Companies has not formally accepted former Works and Transport Minister Jack Warner’s proposal.
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