JIS News

Minister of Transport and Works, Robert Pickersgill has reported that since amendments to the Road Traffic and Transport Authority Act were passed earlier this year, the Transport Authority and the Police have seized some 358 vehicles, including 98 ‘robots’, for violating the revised Act.
Mr. Pickersgill, who was speaking at the monthly meeting of the Kiwanis Club of the Caymanas Business District yesterday (September 28), at the Arians Restaurant in Spanish Town, said some 260 taxi operators were charged for operating contrary to their licences between April and August this year.
The Minister explained that the exercise was carried out to enforce the new Act, which gave increased seizure powers to both the Authority and the Police, and imposed heavier fines for traffic violations.
According to the Minister, route inspectors have accepted their roles as the “disciplinarians” of the road. “If discipline will be maintained only when someone is watching, then we will do that,” he stressed.
Discussing the topic: ‘Discipline and Courtesy as it applies to the Transport sector’, Mr. Pickersgill said that since April, a team of inspectors and Island Traffic Authority (ITA) officers have been examining public transport vehicles with a view to promoting passenger safety, comfort and the road worthiness of vehicles.
“They look for vehicle defects, such as the braking system, body condition, the condition of tyres, broken windshield, graffiti, dark tints as well as loud and lewd music,” he said, noting that the Government would make every effort to ensure “clean, affordable and predictable” transportation for the public.
The Minister urged the public to take licensed vehicles and refuse to travel in vehicles that were not road worthy. He explained that passengers could break the cycle of lawlessness and discourteous behaviour by using vehicles that operated within the system and drivers who showed respect for the law.
“Discipline, courtesy and lawful behaviour on our roads are only expressions of good manners. If demanded consistently by passengers, it will change the way we all drive. It will increase the respect for the rights of others who are also road users,” Mr. Pickersgill said.
Meanwhile, the Minister lauded the work of the Kiwanis Club and praised out-going President, Beulah Bartholomew for her contribution to community development.
“Anybody can serve, you do not have to have a college degree to serve. You do not have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace and a soul generated by love,” he said.
Awards were presented to Constable Kevin Marsh, Spanish Town Police Division; Earnest Hoo, businessman in Twickenham Park, and Daphne Bennett, member of the Kiwanis Club, in recognition of their outstanding contribution to community development.