By AVA TURNQUEST
Tribune Staff Reporter
MODERNISED communication networks are at the centre of the Cab Board’s thrust to boost enforcement and revitalise the surrey horse industry and brand, officials announced yesterday.
The board has conducted three reports on fare increases; communal stable; and farrier training on how to properly shoe horses. Routes are also under review, with special consideration being given to a course that moved further west away from central Bay Street traffic.
Yesterday, Minister of Transport and Aviation Glenys Hanna-Martin said that through an established network of police, Road Traffic, Tourism, Port Authority and the Bahamas Humane Society, the Board has seen improved enforcement.
Changes will be implemented immediately after widespread consultation with stakeholders, and if necessary, legislative debate.
Mrs Hanna-Martin added that the issues with troughs at Prince George Dock are also scheduled for repair.
“Our objective,” she said, “is to create sustainability and to enhance the economic opportunities for the small business entrepreneurs engaged in this industry while at the same time maintaining high standards and good health and well being of the animals.”
The present Cabs Act is fully functional but needs enforcement, according to Stable Sub-committee member and lawyer Metta MacMillan-Hughes, who has prepared the first draft of regulations on standards for housing and care of horses. Copies of the duties of licensed drivers also have been distributed to owners and operators.
Mrs MacMillan-Hughes added that the first draft of a driver’s and operator’s training manual is also under review. She praised the efforts of Mrs Hanna-Martin to create a “paradigm shift” in the industry.
Some duties state that licensed drivers must be decently dressed, with registration badge visible; drive within a ten mile radius of Rawson Square; drive at a speed not less than five miles per hour; give way to other vehicles when it is reasonable and convenient; carry no more than four passengers, with no more than two over the age of 14.
Horse rest periods are between 1pm and 2pm during November 1 to April 30, and between 1pm and 3pm during May 1 and October 31.
Under the Cabs Act, the Cabs Board has the authority to cancel any cab license if the horse used to draw the cab is not properly shod, suffering from illness or injury, or is otherwise unfit; and if the driver is guilty of animal cruelty, or any offence under the Cabs Act.
The Cab Board includes: Dr Maurice Isaacs, chairman; John Nixon, Ministry of Tourism; Inspector Kenrid Neely, Royal Bahamas Police Force; Brad Smith, Road Traffic; Dayne D’Aguilar, Bahamas Humane Society; Alfred Hart, Port Authority; and veterinarian Dr Kwesi Smith.