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NADS Cry Foul Over Cancellation of Driving Exams

MONDAY saw another association taking to the offices of government located on the Castries waterfront asking to revoke a decision that impacts on their livelihood.

This was the second such group acting in that manner in consecutive weeks. Last week were fishers after government banned them from leaving port for seven days.

Image of Transportation Minister Guy Joseph
Transportation Minister Guy Joseph

After a meeting with Prime Minister Allen Chastanet and other stakeholders, fishers got what they wanted as government relented and repeal the decision. Fishers, as of last Thursday, were back at sea.

This week was the turn of members of the National Association of Driving Schools (NADS). They demonstrated outside the Graham Louisy Administrative Building on the Castries Waterfront as a result of the cancellation of practical and theory driving exams due to COVID-19 concerns.

Members of NADS were not happy with the decision saying it was made by government without consulting them.

“We thought that was a sign of disrespect to us and we thought it was unfair to the students and the driving school instructors,” the Association’s secretary, Kingson Jean told reporters.

Transportation Minister Guy Joseph said the decision was made so as to limit staff at the Ministry of Transport exposure to COVID-19, bearing in mind that quite a number of people were not following COVID-19 protocols as set out by the Ministry of Health.

He said driving examiners reported not feeling safe entering vehicles that are not properly sanitized and learner drivers wearing masks improperly and as a result felt that they were putting themselves at risk.

The driving instructors however felt this was unfair saying they are following the protocols as set out by the Ministry of Health.

THE VOICE learned that suggestions have been made to remedy the situation during talks between the two parties, especially what can be done to make examiners feel safe during a driving examination. No serious action has been taken as of yesterday.

Joseph is of the view that government is not being insensitive pointing out that should one person get infected the whole Transport Department would have to be closed, meaning other services the Department offers to the public would be unavailable.

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