Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 6th 2016 Contents 1
WITH UP TO THREE TIMES
YOUR SHARE DEPOSIT...
RHAND is giving you more
MORE Credit MORE Value
People helping People
Head Office: 57 -- 61 Abercromby Street,
Port of Spain - 627 4263
Branches: 5i Woodford Street,
Arima - 667 3742; Bacolet Street,
Scarborough - 635 0127
Minimum wage still to be reviewed --- McLeod News --- Page A6
For breaking news, call 225-4465 Exts 2032, 2033 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday, October 6, 2016 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
A week after a very pregnant
Arlene Laban-Ammon and her
husband were stopped, ticketed
and ordered off the Priority Bus
Route while she was in labour,
she is now calling on the author-
ities for clearer guidelines on the
use of the PBR.
Noting that an emergency C-
section saved her child s life after
they got to the hospital two hours
after being put off the PBR,
Laban-Ammon is now calling for
a clear policy on the use of the
In an interview with the T&T
Guardian yesterday, Laban-
Ammon, 36, said around 6 am
last Monday she and her husband,
Donny Ammon, left their Arima
home to go to the St Augustine
Private Hospital as she was having
On their way to the hospital,
Laban-Ammon said she begged
Donny to get there quickly as her
contractions became increasingly
"I started to get more and more
pain and the traffic was not mov-
ing at all.
"I remembered seeing Inspector
(Roger) Alexander saying you can
use the PBR in the case of an
emergency so I asked Donny to
go onto the bus route," she said.
She said her husband drove
onto the bus route where they
intended to flag down any police
officer they might seen for an
escort to the hospital. However,
after several minutes, the couple
saw a police officer who ordered
them to pull over.
"They were pulling aside all
vehicles without passes and when
the officer came up to the car, he
asked Donny what he was doing
on the bus route.
"Donny told him I was in
labour and we were trying to get
to the hospital and he asked why
we didn t call an ambulance.
Donny then told him we have a
car, so we drove instead.
"He said, Yuh playing brave?
and ordered a younger female
officer to write us a ticket. I could
see she didn t want to do it
because she was watching us the
whole time but she wrote it any-
The Ammons were given a
ticket for $2,000 and ordered to
turn around and leave the PBR.
They subsequently spent two
additional hours in traffic before
getting to the hospital, where Dr
Sherene Kalloo quickly began
assessing the baby s condition.
"The scans showed the baby s
heartbeat was erratically high and
it was not regulating. We were
told we had to do an emergency
C-section or risk having a still-
born," Laban-Ammon said.
Thankfully, her son Armani was
eventually delivered healthy but
the mother of two said her hus-
band now intended to contest the
ticket in court.
"Why didn t the police have
some compassion or sympathy?
My baby could have died because
of the stress and the long wait to
get to the hospital and the officer
treated us so badly," she added.
She said she and her husband
had not planned a C-section.
"We were not catering for that
cost. We had saved up money to
have a natural birth but this pro-
cedure is like three times the cost
that we now have to come up
with," she said.
She is also adamant that the
C-section could have been avoid-
ed if the officer had allowed them
to use the PBR.
"If he had a little bit of under-
standing, me and my baby would
not have had to go through all of
this. I had a healthy pregnancy
with no complications at that
point," she said.
Husband to contest ticket
Cop charges, puts mom in labour off PBR
Members of the
Music Association of
dance) during a
reception hosted by
the Embassy of Korea
in commemoration of
Foundation Day of
Korea at the Hyatt
Spain, on Tuesday
night. PHOTO: ANDRE
Members of the Inter-island Ferry Com-
mittee of the Tobago Chamber of Com-
merce say they are disappointed with the
treatment meted out to them by the Port
Authority of Trinidad and Tobago and the
Trinidad and Tobago Inter-Island Trans-
port Company Ltd, after they were
informed that sailings for the lone cargo
vessel, the Superfast Galicia, will be can-
celled for four days next week.
Speaking at a news conference in Tobago
yesterday, chairman of the Inter-island
Ferry Committee, Dianne Hadad, said they
were told the ferry would not sail from
October 9-12 to accommodate the 12th
Conference of Defence Ministers of the
Americas which is being held at the Hyatt
Regency, Port-of-Spain, during the period.
She said members stand to lose millions
and the occurrence was a backward move.
"Four days is a lot of days to miss cargo
coming into the island. As well as it s going
to have other issues," Hadad said.
"We are already without the Warrior
Spirit, which was sent back at the end of
August, so we are back to one cargo vessel,
there s no makeup vessel in this. We are
already having problems with the con-
tainerised goods,because the facility does
not accommodate the containerised goods
very well, so I am not sure we have moved
forward and this is really a backward move."
Chairman of the Tobago Chamber of
Commerce, Demi John Cruikshank, said
the lack of communication to them was
also was unacceptable, noting businesses
had no time to try to stockpile goods to
cater to the missed days. He also called on
the authorities to utilise other ports during
"The Port Authority erred in this matter,
not inviting us to a meeting and even dis-
cussing it. There are alternative ports in
Trinidad, Point Lisas, anywhere else, you
can dock the vessel there and we will take
our trucks there and load the boat. But
without any consultation, arbitrarily you
send a press release and say that you are
taking the boat off the route for four days,
that is not good enough," Cruickshank said.
In response to the claims, Inter-island
Transport Company Ltd PRO Velma Lewis
Cockburn denied there was little or no
consultation with the group. She said acting
Chief Executive Officer of the Port Author-
ity, Leon Grant, has been communicating
with members of the Tobago Chamber. She
said the port provided an alternative of
October 8 and October 15 for the sailing of
the Superfast Galicia, which she expects
will accommodate lighter goods and vehi-
Port officials are scheduled to meet with
members of the chamber today.
In an immediate response to
queries yesterday, Works and
Transport Minister Fitzgerald Hinds
said a police officer in uniform did
have the discretion to allow a
person who did not have a PBR
However, Hinds said it was still
up to the officer at that time to
make that decision.
He added: "The policy is that only
authorised vehicles, largely those
used for public transport and a few
others, are permitted to use the
"That permission is conveyed
with the allocation of a PBR pass. In
the absence of that pass, no one is
allowed to use the bus route,
regardless of the circumstances.
"But a police officer in uniform
acting under the rule of general law
has the lawful authority to direct a
motorist to use any roadway in any
manner at any time.
"So if a police officer instructs
you to drive up a one-way street,
you are duty-bound to comply. And
therefore if a police officer
authorises you to use the PBR,
then the user has reasonable
excuse for using it."
While he said he could not
comment on the specifics of this
case, Hinds said the officer may not
have been satisfied that the case
was a genuine emergency.
"It may very well be that the
police officer was not so satisfied
that her condition was genuine. It
seems from the reports so far that
the officer was not persuaded that
her report was valid," he said.
He said while he did not have the
competency to judge this matter,
he felt it was necessary to bring
clarity to the issue as it could arise
again in other situations.
Also contacted on the matter,
public information officer of the
TTPS, Michael Pierre, confirmed
that in circumstances such as last
Monday's, police could use their
discretion to allow people to drive
on the PBR.
But he said having heard only
one side of the story, he could not
say whether the officer should have
dealt with the situation differently.
COP CAN USE DISCRETION
Links Archive October 5th 2016 October 7th 2016 Navigation Previous Page Next Page