Gordon Swaby

Jamaica: The Small Laws? Oh, Don’t Worry about The Small Laws.

With so many car accidents happening in Jamaica daily ( As seen on OGNR) you’d think that some responsible soul in the Jamaican Government would take the initiative and fix the problem. Like all problems this one has its roots. This one in particular originated from various Examination Depots across the island where corruption is rife and illegal purchasing of a driver’s license is a common occurrence.

You put an unqualified and incompetent driver around the wheel who is also illiterate hence not being able to comprehend the road code book what do you expect the outcome to be ( I guess it’s apparent by now)?

It would serve Jamaica well to take a page from New York’s former Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s book and apply the “Broken windows theory” to Jamaica where said mayor had a so called “zero tolerance” policy. This “zero tolerance” policy was part of an interlocking set of wider reforms to be undertaken. According to Wikipedia:

“Giuliani had the police more strictly enforce the law against subway fare evasion, public drinking, urination, and the “squeegee men” who had been wiping windshields of stopped cars and demanding payment. According to the 2001 study of crime trends in New York by George Kelling and William Sousa, rates of both petty and serious crime fell suddenly and significantly, and continued to drop for the following ten years.”

Jamaica’s culture is one of indiscipline and lawlessness. A situation where people are selling illegal DVD’s for argument’s sake is generally not frowned upon because “man a do him hustlin” “. Indeed prosecuting a man for something as “simple” as selling a DVD may seem trivial, but you have to understand that lawlessness has to stop somewhere and if a man cannot respect the small laws, he’ll have no respect for the large ones. Don’t turn a blind eye to small offenses in our country because by doing so you inadvertently encourage the violation of larger ones; always remember; a ruthless killer was once an innocent child.

Written by Gordon Swaby

Gordon Swaby

Founder and CEO of social learning service EduFocal.com. I’m passionate about technology, the internet and the use of technology in education. I am a recipient of Governor General’s Youth Award, the PSOJ’s 50 Under 50 Award, The commonwealth Youth Award and many others.


Lovingly made on Saturday, August 21st, 2010 at 10:12 pm. Filed under Jamaica/Politics, Personal, Uncategorized.

  • http://twitter.com/corvedacosta Corve DaCosta

    I think Jamaican drivers are irresponsible on our streets – I sit in the bus daily and I watch people looking down in their laps on their cell phones – and anyone can really get access to a license. It makes no sense and the authorities will do something when it is too late instead of nipping the bud now.

    Hopefully someone will step in.

  • http://twitter.com/blipsterfarian Blipsterfarian Logic

    Great post.

    I am always wondering who is going to enforce the law? Is is the police who are taking bribes or killing people? Or our PM who spent months defending Dudus?

    We are in serious trouble…

  • http://gordonswaby.com Gordon Swaby

    Thanks for commenting guys!

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/VITSQMDLGPHFSCSFYV4QXDKPGM chic-uptown

    Broken windows theory can work. If you crack down on fare-beaters you’re often likely to find someone guilty of something else such as drug possession. The trouble is where will you put them if they’re guilty of a large crime and how can you fine them if they’re guilty of a small one?

  • http://gordonswaby.com Gordon Swaby

    Giuliani had a points system which i think worked well. You get 3 strikes after which you’re incarcerated. How you accumulate the point would have to be well thought out. But what you want to change is the populace’s attitude towards laws; if they can respect them and know that their will be consequences for their actions which will be enforced then that would will really help.



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