JIS News

Effective April 1, there will be an amnesty for persons who operate public passenger vehicles (PPVs) without the requisite road licences.

This was disclosed by Minister of Transport, Works and Housing, Dr. the Hon. Omar Davies, during a press conference held at the Ministry’s Maxfield Avenue offices in Kingston, on March 13.

“This amnesty will apply to all geographical areas except those in the Kingston Metropolitan Transport Region (KMTR) that are exclusively licenced to the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC),” he said, adding that the amnesty will end on June 30, 2013.

The Minister said the boundaries of the KMTR, for the purpose of the amnesty, are Manor Park, Papine and Eleven Miles in St. Andrew and Central Village in St. Catherine.

Dr. Davies encouraged operators to utilise this opportunity, reminding them that “after the June 30, 2013 deadline, no licences will be issued for these routes and there will be a zero tolerance approach by the Transport Authority and the Police for those found to be operating without a road licence.”

He said after the deadline, vehicles operating without the requisite road licences will be seized and kept in storage until a road licence is produced, or alternately, they are disposed of by the authority.

Dr. Davies said the amnesty is part of efforts to reduce the number of unregistered vehicles operating within the island.

“There is clearly too great a number of these vehicles, some operating without proper registration…the amnesty will provide persons with an opportunity to regularise themselves,” he said.

In the meantime, the Minister said the JUTC has been unable to respond to the real need of the population, but will be implementing strategies to deal with this.

“As we increase the number of JUTC buses on the road, there will be a reduction in the need for these operators, particularly the illegal ones,” he argued.

Chairman of the Transport Authority, Norton Hinds, said there are approximately 21,000 registered operators and 12,000 unregistered operators in the country.

He said the authority is in the process of undertaking an auction, to ensure that the necessary spaces will be available, once the vehicles are impounded.

By Chris Patterson, JIS Reporter