JIS News

The Government is to put measures in place to deal with the issue of route taxis operating without proper, or fraudulent, insurance coverage, as part of a plan to bring order to Jamaica’s public transportation system.
This was disclosed by Minister of State in the Ministry of National Security, Senator Arthur Williams in the Senate on February 15, during the debate on a Motion brought by Senator Dennis Meadows on the need to deal with illegal route taxi operators.
The State Minister pointed out that the issue of taxis operating without proper insurance, or operating with fraudulently issued documents, has been raised with the Transport Authority by the Insurance Association of Jamaica’s Fraud Committee.
“This committee has been having dialogue with the Transport Authority and has expressed concerns in relation to the large number of taxi operators on the roads without insurance or with fraudulently issued insurance documents, which are so well done, that they escape detection at police check points,” Senator Williams said.
“That committee is to make proposals to the Transport Authority and the Ministry of Transport and Works, as to the ways in which these fraudulent documents can be recognised and also to suggest amendments to the Motor Vehicle Insurance (Third Party Risk) Act, designed to make it more difficult for individuals to gain illegal insurance coverage,” he added.
However, Senator Williams pointed out that the problem of fraudulent insurance was not peculiar to taxis, as many private vehicles were also operating without insurance coverage or using fraudulent documents.
In the Motion brought by Senator Meadows, he recommended the implementation of an incentive system for route taxi operators, aimed at engendering a good work ethic, safety and professionalism in the delivery of service; outlawing the tinting of public passenger vehicles, so as to improve security; and implementing a system to track the driving record of taxi drivers, thereby enabling the revocation of the licence of any operator who has a poor driving record.
The Motion, which was amended by the Senate, urged the Government to accelerate the policy aimed at rationalizing the route taxi system, specifically with a view to enhancing the process for the issuing of road licences to operators with proper insurance and with vehicles in good condition.
It also urged the Ministry of Transport and Works to provide a framework for the regularisation of illegal taxi operators, with the ultimate objective of ensuring their legitimacy and the safety of commuters.

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