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Teens To Hold PSV License

Teens To Hold PSV License
October 04
12:36 2017

The minimum age to hold a Pub­lic Service Vehicle licence will soon to be lowered from 21 to 18.

Currently 18-year-olds can have a private driver’s licence but not a PSV licence. That is about to change.

It is understood that the Ministry of Transport is currently working with the Land Transport Authority to in­troduce the change.

This will allow more drivers to take up PSV licences and drive buses, taxis and mini-vans.

Transport Minister Parveen Bala is expected to make an announcement  soon. The news has been welcomed by bus operators who face a short­age of bus drivers. Many bus driv­ers have also demonstrated their public opposition to the e-Ticketing initiative.

Shore Buses Limited Suva chief executive Jasper Singh:

“We welcome the age limit drop because there is a demand for bus drivers in the country. You can be 18 and well trained for several months like we do. We have drivers who are 40years old, 50years old but who still cannot drive because they do not have appropriate training.

“For me it is the education part, it is the training part, they have the defensive driving course which is quite rigid in itself as it is after the question of how you drive, what do you do, what responsibilities so they become aware and it is their choice if they feel that it is not their cup of tea than they can move on. From a holistic view I think the government is doing an excellent thing in trying to create employ­ment in the area where there is a demand.

“Our youngest driver is my 24 -year-old son and he got his licence when he turned 21.

Nasese Bus Company Limited Manager Ricky Kumar said:

“Yes we welcome the idea because there is a shortage of drivers right now. Sometimes it does not matter about the age, it is about the expe­rience, because from my experi­ence some people who worked for us in the garages have a better un­derstanding of how the buses run compared to some PSV licensed drivers.”

Rohit Latchan, general secretary of the Fiji Bus Operators Associa­tion, said: “We made submissions to government for them to consider drivers from group 2 licences so they can have PSV licence and we are yet to hear anything from gov­ernment on this but if it has hap­pened than we welcome it because we have been asking government for it. There is a shortage of bus drivers.”

Land Transport Authority chief executive Carmine Piantedosi said the LTA was working to fast-track processes of obtaining bus drivers licences.

“Right now LTA is looking at ways in which it can quicken the process of obtaining a bus driver’s licence as they are needed in the industry,” Mr Piantedosi said.

He said others changes were be­ing looked at. He said there would be public consultations soon to get public responses to the amend­ments.

Mr Piantedosi said more amend­ments would be further discussed during public consultations.

Under the amended regulations there will be more changes towards the appropriation of taxi permits which come into effect from Janu­ary 1, next year.

The amended regulation under the Land Transport Authority will for example require LTA to develop transport zone for taxi permits and taxi quota to distribute the Permits in these zones.

Those who apply for the taxi per­mit must have the household in­come of below $20,000 and must be residing in Fiji.

In addition, taxi permit applicants must be individuals and not com­panies. All these applications will also be reviewed by an Independent Review Committee.

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