Local May 21, 2014 | 8:11 am

Dominican Republic’s ‘owners’ face gripes, not penalties

Santo Domingo.- From industry moguls to lawmakers and even the country’s top traffic cop, the chaos unleashed by several drivers’ unions that ground the busy 27 de Febrero artery to a halt and roiled the morning commute was met with the usual gripes and calls for government action, but no penalties are expected.

Dominican Republic Industries Association president (AIRD) Ligia Bonetti complained that the drivers’ unions aim to challenge the authorities which establish Santo Domingo’s traffic rules.

She said society needs to raise its voice against the abuse and that the AIRD supports the Metropolitan Transit Authority (AMET) whose director threatened to charge "anyone who attempts to hinder traffic."

"It’s necessary to put a halt to the disorder by these driver unions which believe they’re above the law. The situation is possible thanks to the impunity which they’ve enjoyed despite many of their abuses," Bonetti said.

But the government, represented by Presidency Administrative minister José Ramón Peralta, called the blocking of trafficking "intolerable," but fell short of announcing sanctions.

For Senate president Reynaldo Pared, the action was “an abuse against the citizens,” while AMET director Juan Geronimo Brown repeated his predecessors’ threats when the country’s “owners” decide to created havoc in traffic.

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