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EDITORIAL: LTA Needs To Change And Become More Transparent

EDITORIAL:   LTA Needs To Change And Become More Transparent
July 31
12:36 2018

The Land Transport Authority should change with the times.

It needs to modernise.

There needs to be greater transparency within the Authority.

The change is critical because more vehicle owners have access to the internet.

The LTA needs to, at the very least, update its website with the amount and nature of fines.

Consider this scenario – a person who parked a vehi­cle near the Colonial War Memorial Hospital in Suva was fined $200.

When he called to inquire whether such a fine was normal, he was informed that the fine ranged from $50 to $200 and it depended on the enforcement officer to determine how much fine to give in that in­stance.

One question imme­diately pops up. What type of training has that officer under­gone? If the officer is having a bad day, will he take it out on the Fi­jian public?

Consider another sce­nario – a truck driver was fined for driving a vehicle from Nadi to Suva.

The vehicle’s headlight was faulty. The wires gave up during the trip. He was fined $200.

The FijiFirst Government amended the laws whereby commercial drivers are not fined for defects in the ve­hicles and that the companies need to be taken to task.

A truck driver who earns $300 on average per week is fined $200. His company is not held accountable.

LTA very conveniently brings out the rule books to show clauses which allow them to fine the driver.

They also advise the driver to reach out to their branches for clarification.

First the driver receives a $200 fine.

After this, he is expected to take a day-off for which there is no guarantee he will be paid, to sort out an is­sue which should not have arisen in the first place.

Why can’t the LTA have greater transparency in how it determines the fines? Being more transparent in their processes will not give anyone the scope to criti­cise them.

It will also give Fijians a fair understanding of what to expect.

The LTA says it has a rulebook which can be pur­chased if one needs to know more about the fines and nature of offences. How about making it available on­line, for free?

Let’s move with the digital age.

And while at it, LTA needs to look at allowing people to pay their fines through online banking.



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