Land Transport Law Change Hailed

The changes in the Land Transport Amendment Act 2017 passed unanimously by Parliament on Tuesday has received positive feedback and been hailed by public service vehicle (PSV) operators and the
23 Mar 2017 11:00
Land Transport Law Change Hailed
Land Transport Authority

The changes in the Land Transport Amendment Act 2017 passed unanimously by Parliament on Tuesday has received positive feedback and been hailed by public service vehicle (PSV) operators and the general public.

This includes the transport regulating authority, the Land Transport Authority who also welcomed wholeheartedly the initiative taken by Government in prioritising the amendment to the LTA Act.

The bill was introduced by Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum after concerns were raised by the LTA customers of the inability of the authority to issue Traffic Infringement Notices (TINs) in accordance with the legislative time frames.

As per the new amended act, drivers will now be given 90 days instead of 21 days to pay their traffic fines – either in installments or in one lump sum.

We spoke to drivers and organisations about the new legislation.


Here are their reactions:

PSV Operators

Suva taxi operator, Tiko Kece director Iomaca Balelevuka said they appreciated the land transport law change.

“With the new amendment, the 90-day period to pay fines makes it not only easier, but gives us the flexibility to make installment payments over the 90-days,” Mr Balelevuka said.

Regent Taxis managing director, Harish Chandra said the new amendment would give time to drivers to pay up but it might affect larger fleet operators.

By this he meant that some drivers would be relaxed and continue to commit offences, burdening fleet managers.

“What we normally do at Regent Taxis is that as soon as we receive the TINs, we pay it straight away on behalf of the drivers who was on shift during the time of the offence as the speed camera fines are not recorded on the driver but the owner of the vehicle, and the driver refund us on a certain period of time.

“But now, by the time one fine is paid, another might come and the recovery of fines might take longer.

“We have 48 taxis and if we do not pay a fine for one taxi, the LTA will block the whole system and will not renew the vehicles’ fitness until fines are cleared.

“Which means, for one fine, all the other 47 taxis’ fitness will not be renewed and that will affect the business at large,” Mr Chandra said.


Vehicle owners

Drivers in Labasa joined the chorus of praises.

John Bull, a carrier driver for more than four years, said some drivers found it hard to pay their fines when business was at its lowest period.

“Now that we are given 90 days, we would be free from worry and burden of meeting the payment deadline. I thank Government for making this positive move,” Mr Bull, of Lajonia, outside Labasa Town said.

Jonasa Naivalulevu, a taxi driver of Dogotuki in Macuata, said: “The installment payment system will make life easier.”

Roselyn Lata, of Korowiri, Labasa, said:  “For us working mothers, this move would be very helpful.

“The ample time given to pay in installments has made life easy for working mothers like me.”

Veena Singh, 46, of Nadera, Nasinu, said the new bill amendments would make the lives of drivers easier.

“I am self-employed and sell cosmetic products from home which is not guaranteed to get customers or good sales every day.

“The new amendment to the bill of 90-day payment period is much better for us as it gives us ample enough of time to sort out the payment in installment as not everyone would have the money to pay right away,” Ms Singh said.

Taxi driver, Avinash Maharaj, 25, of Nabua, Suva, said he appreciated the fact that he could make payment on installments.

“I don’t own the taxi I drive, so I have to give the owner $300 per week as the income and then work for my wages then fuel and other expenses.

“Now with these new amendments to the bill, I will not have to worry about having a large sum of money to pay at once.

“I would like to say a big thank you to Mr Sayed-Khaiyum for understanding and looking from a driver’s perspective and helping us,” Mr Maharaj said.

Edited by Caroline Ratucadra


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