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Stay Away From Dirty Tactics, Association Pleads With Members

Stay Away From Dirty Tactics, Association Pleads With Members
From left: Minister for Local Government, Housing, Environment, Infrastructure and Transport Parveen Bala and Fiji Driving Schools Association’s president Deo Narayan. Photo: DEPTFO NEWS
February 26
11:54 2018

The Fiji Driving Schools Association president, Deo Naray­an, is urging members not to involve themselves in dirty tactics.

“We don’t know today who is observing our move­ments,” he said.

“So my message is clear. Do not be involved in cor­ruption, we must make our students come out of a driv­ing school as an inspiration to other drivers.”

He made the statements at the association’s annual general meeting yesterday.

Minister for Local Govern­ment, Housing, Environ­ment, Infrastructure and Transport, Parveen Bala at­tended.

Mr Bala said he believed that the commitment of the association provided a platform for sharing knowl­edge, ideas and experiences in planning and developing the service standards in the country.

“I must say that the re­sponsibility of our driving school to develop safe driv­ers have developed over the years,” he said.

“It has now become more challenging due to the in­crease in vehicle population on our roads, new technolo­gies that comes with the new generation vehicles and improvements on the road network.

“According to LTA motor vehicle registration have increased in Fiji over the last few years with an aver­age growth of nine per cent from 2015 to 2016.

“The total number of vehi­cles in Fiji as of December 2016 was 110763 with 72 per cent private vehicles, 16 per cent commercial vehicles and 10 per cent public ser­vice vehicles.

“The need for safe driving on our roads cannot be over­stated.

“Our role as service pro­viders is to produce safe drivers. Therefore, it is es­sential we collectively work together to address this con­cern.

“It’s not always the govern­ment, not only LTA’s busi­ness, or police. Police and LTA cannot be at all places at all times. You people play a major role for producing safe drivers.”

There are now 105 driving schools around the country – 49 located in the Central- Eastern Division, 14 in the North and 44 in the West.

Mr Bala emphasised that driving school operators should ensure that drivers abide by the laws concern­ing the proper use of our roads. Also the operation of driving schools shall not be based only on facilitat­ing the provisions of formal driving qualification but more importantly on partic­ipation of national building.

“We all have to play our part on national building.”

Issues raised during the meeting:

There were complaints about illegal driving school operations and cases where fines were paid and the is­sues were solved with the authorities.

Mr Bala said: “Paying fines is not an answer. We don’t believe in that. I will make sure Land Transport Au­thority see the seriousness of the case.

“It doesn’t mean that any­body will pay their fine and they will go away with it.”

He said he would give LTA a week to investigate the il­legal operators and give him a report.

Drivers’ instruction per­mit was given for three years and was reduced to one year for renewals.

Mr Bala said he received a complaint on the matter before.

“The concern given to me was, if taxi owners are given 10 year permits, why can’t we be given the same?,” he said.

“You people are part of us. You supplement the Govern­ment’s vision in terms of giving the right direction to our learners.

“I will ask LTA to look into it why there was a reverse of one year. LTA will write to the associations stating the reasons and if I’m not hap­py with the reasons, then we will go back to those three years.”

Edited by Naisa Koroi

Feedback: selita.bolanavanua@ fijisun.com.fj

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