Friday, November 12, 2010

Institutional Negligence And Public Ignorance Is Responsible For This Potentially Deadly Mistake In Trinbago

Welding Automobile Front Ends and Rear Ends To "Make A Car" Is Dangerous To Occupants and The Public

A few weeks ago Trinidad and Tobago local TV6 ran a story about a single car automobile accident. The driver was speeding, hit a pole and the car split into two pieces. This is not an abnormal occurrence in this country. The cause is almost always attributed to speed. There is a small twist to this story.

In Trinidad and Tobago you can purchase the entire front or rear end of a vehicle and get it welded onto a damaged vehicle. Like a grocery store of "vehicle portions" these parts are displayed for purchase on large shelves. Used automobile parts dealers do a brisk trade in these parts. But here's the problem.

In most developed countries tampering with the structural integrity of a vehicle is illegal. The reason for that is safety. As a result, almost every, if not all automobile manufacturers, have adopted what is now considered an industry safety standard of designing automobile around what is known as a “unibody construction".

In layman’s terms the frame of every vehicle manufactured is built around a steel cage with no welds. The intent is to protect the occupants and ensure that the vehicle is not split into parts on impact. So why should we worry about that in Trinidad and Tobago?

First, we cannot ignore universally accepted automobile safety standards. It is an inherently dangerous practice that if continued to go undetected will endanger lives. Laws that allow this practice must be immediately amended to forbid this practice not only for the dealers but anyone who knowingly conspires to sell a vehicle in that condition.

This practice is certainly responsible for many deaths in this country. Unfortunately, there may not be one report that list it as a cause of death. It is much easier to find that "speed" was the cause. After all, dead men tell no tales.

Secondly, it means that whenever citizen’s purchase used vehicles they must check for structural integrity. Unscrupulous used car dealers will repair a vehicle in this manner and offer it for sale.

The used car buyer must be aware of this practice and physically check to ensure that there are no visible welds in the front or rear of the vehicle.

No used car should be purchased without hiring the services of a body repair expert. One way to easily identify a replaced front end is when the engine number is different from the number listed on the vehicle original manufacturer certificate.

Do not compromise your safety by hurriedly purchasing a vehicle because of the low price. Any vehicle that shows indication of repairs of that nature should be rejected, it's a literal death trap.

We all know the other problems with the Trinidad and Tobago Transportation system but this one is not as obvious. Speed is definitely a contributing factor in most of these accidents but a vehicle with structural integrity compromised aggravates the possibilities. It is itself an accident waiting to happen.

This practice must be stopped at a legislative level. In the meanwhile, if you purchased a used car, know of someone who did or intend to purchase let them know this. Only when our representatives recognize the severity of this problem can something be done about this it. Now, it's up to you.

Tell your politician, your friend or anyone else who knows a politician who can help. This practice needs to be investigated, researched and documented to determine the most appropriate course of action.

Just imagine how you would feel if one day the front end of an automobile comes hurtling towards you at 50MPH, too late. Not a pretty thought. Do something now. Let somebody know.

Pass the word on.

Tony Puckerin is a Independent Marketing Consultant based in Trinidad. If you are in business in Trinidad visit Guerilla Marketing Consulting and schedule a free marketing assessment of your business. Also if you are on Facebook you can get free dental care tips and advice from dental experts. Go to Trinbago #1 Dental Care Guide.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Tomas Leaves Caribbean Destruction and Misunderstanding

It;s Either Aid Or It's Business<; Not Both

Our Honorable Prime Minister’s recent pronouncement on giving aid to our Caribbean neighbors who were victims of hurricane Tomas was indeed unfortunate. It is the only disagreement

I have had with a statement… nah, did not like the “take it or leave it” statement either. Well I guess this is the second time that I disagreed with a statement uttered by our Honorable Prime Minister. Here’s why.

In time of need, it is an instinctive nature of man to reach out and help. The story of the good Samaritan is ample reference. If the Samaritan had said: “I will give you lodging if you work for me tomorrow” that entire biblical lesson would have been lost.

But I trust that the PM knows the teachings of the Gita and she demonstrated this when she assumed this position. According to the Trinidad Express

The fact is that there is no reason to put conditions on any aid even if the country decides to source their construction services and material from another partner who could not help. I think it was wrong but it is I who could be too quick to judge…
I’m not privy to a lot of information our Honorable Prime Minister has.

But here is one response many of the haters in the other Caribbean islands may not have thought of...

It could be possible that what she was actually saying is that “we broke”. It would be a serious shock, that instead of saying what she said she decided to “buss the mark”.

Just let everyone know that Trinidad and Tobago is on the brink of declaring bankruptcy and we need all the money we have or could get. Could you imagine the run on banks, especially when people know what happen to CLICO depositors? Nah, that would be madness.

But the signs are there. The Governor of the Central Bank comes out of the blues and says we lost over 24,000 jobs in the last fiscal year. Jack Warner saying that the government wants to offer the contractors bonds instead of cash. All yuh blind or wah.

The government is offering and standing firm on a one percent increase for the PSA and offering to pay off CLICO depositors in 20 years. If those are not signs to what we do not know then… Oh yeah, they cancel the OPV even after the British government beg them to buy just one. OK, you decide for yourself.

Here is my position, the problem is politics and governance. The government cannot tell the people what is really going on because it will literally turn this country on its ass. It is for the wise to see and hear. Look at the signs, they there.
The government may be in a rather tricky position.

They cannot say what they know because of the potential to hurt the people. And because they cannot communicate to the people the people keep the demands high.

The PSA want 100% increase for their lowest worker from $3,300 to $6000. CLICO depositors want all their money now; HCU too. Everywhere you turn government is being asked to pay, pay, pay. Now think of this.

If you knew what the Honorable Prime Minister may know and then you hear that Tomas beat up St Lucia.

What would you say?

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