(WEFM NEWS) — The government of St. Vincent & the Grenadines is in the process of taking concrete steps to address the issue of the playing of loud and lewd music in mini-vans, and other motor vehicles here.
Speaking Wednesday morning (March 22nd, 2017) on the Shake up programme aired on WEFM, Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves said he recently raised with the Attorney General, the issue of a new bill for motor vehicle and road traffic.
“A student had written a letter in the newspaper, but the Wednesday before that, I had raised with the Attorney General, the question of a new bill for motor vehicular and road traffic and in it, there are some laws relating to music” – Dr. Gonsalves said.
The Prime Minster said that he told the Attorney General, it is top of the priority and also to get legal draftspersons to finalize.
The Prime Minister stated that many persons have not taken the opportunity to respond to the consultations on the issue.
Dr. Gonsalves said he told the Attorney General “we have given enough time, so let us proceed and we have it in select committee and then people… when it’s happening then, people may well sharpen their own understanding. We have to make sure that these things are properly regulated”.
You don’t want to kill joy, you don’t want to kill fun, but there must be order.
A LONG PERIOD OF PUBLIC OUTCRY
For years, there has been serious public outcry against the playing of loud music on Public transportation.
Of recent, however, the situation exacerbated to the extent, where the playing of not only loud, but lewd lyrical content, became commonplace among a considerable amount of mini-bus operators.
In May of 2016, Radio Broadcaster and Community Youth Leader, Demion McTair and Hydrological Technician and Social activist – Mikhail Akers, launched an online petition on Change.org, calling for a ban on sexually explicit lyrical content and loud music played in Vans and also lewd music on some radio stations.
The petition, launched after the gruesome killing of Police Officer – Giovanni Charles, in May 2016, garnered over 700 signatures and stirred up a national discussion on Broadcast standards and music in Vans.
More recently, an article (referred to by the Prime Minister) written by a student, expressing disgust on the issue, was published in the local Newspapers and on iWitness News on March 3rd, 2017, adding to the national appeal for something to be done about the issue.