Today’s Editorial for July 21: Free gas at a price

Gasoline prices have gotten so high at the pump that people were willing Friday to sit in jammed traffic for a chance at free petrol.

At the end of the radio station promotion only 30 people had received gasoline from 7am to 8am Friday morning. At the prices of $5.05 a gallon, each person received a little more than four gallons of petrol.

Organisers figured out in advance there were probably going to be some traffic issues, so police officers were called in to monitor the situation – at least seven by our count.

Caymanian Compass journalists started receiving phone calls from concerned citizens shortly after 7am Friday that a bad accident must have happened on Shedden Road because traffic was at a standstill and police were ‘everywhere’.

Looking out our office windows onto Shedden Road was akin to looking at a parking lot. For most of the hour traffic was at a standstill and we’d bet that more than a couple of people were late for work.

While we appreciate that radio stations need to do their promotions and publicity stunts during peak drive times like between 7am and 8am, perhaps they should consider holding their giveaway at a less centrally located petrol station.

We understand the Texaco on Shedden Road was probably picked because it is in a high traffic area, but irate drivers being made late for work may have come away from this publicity stunt with a bad taste in their mouths for all businesses involved.

There are many other petrol stations on the fringes of George Town that drivers must pass before getting into the heart of town and which could better accommodate high volumes of vehicles.

Thirty people drove away with free gas Friday and plans are to continue the giveaway for three more Fridays.

It’s anticipated that as the promotion continues more and more people will be queuing up for free gas.

We only hope that everyone keeps a cool head and that those who miss out on the free fuel don’t get visibly angry.

The owner of the radio station – dms – is known for doing some innovative things to get their stations noticed. Most of them are usually fun and there are always winners. You’ve got to give them credit for continually coming up with ideas to get the public involved.

Credit too goes to the Texaco station for agreeing to participate.

Free gas in these times of ever-increasing petrol prices is a blessing.

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