Minister of Transport, Works and Housing, Dr. the Hon. Omar Davies, says the government will be enforcing tough sanctions against operators of overweight trucks that continue to damage the island’s roadways.
"Let me assure you that we won’t shirk away from imposing discipline to preclude abuse of our infrastructure,” he stated.
The Minister was speaking at the contract signing for the implementation of a feasibility study and preliminary design for the Southern Coastal Highway Improvement Project, held at the Whispering Bamboo Cove Resorts in St. Thomas, on July 27.
Dr. Davies noted that over the years, heavy duty trucks, over laden with various materials, have dealt a serious blow to the island’s roadways, particularly those in the eastern parish of St. Thomas. He said, as such, the Government will be ensuring that the laws of the country are enforced to deter this practice.
“It doesn’t make sense to have significant investments and then a small number of persons, for their personal gain, seek to damage them (roads),” the Minister said.
Additionally, the Minister pointed out that the Government is working to repair the weigh station, which will be used to assess the weight of heavy duty trucks to ensure that they are within the legal limits.
"The weigh station is available and ready to be mobilised. Only a small sum is needed to put it in place and it will be done,” he assured.
Dr. Davies explained that the scale is necessary to protect the country's infrastructure, which is being abused by some users.
"The government will be enforcing the legal limits and this will be done as soon as we have the estimates of what is needed to complete the weigh station,” he said.
The Minister called on all Jamaicans to take responsibility for the country’s infrastructure. "It's imperative that in the same way we are united in recognising the need for the infrastructure, that all Jamaicans unite in recognising the need that discipline is maintained and enforced in terms of how that infrastructure is utilised," he said.
Member of Parliament for Eastern St. Thomas, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson, echoed the Transport Minister’s sentiments, noting that clear signals must be sent to truck operators to protect the roadways.
“We will be pushing forward for the enforcement of laws against those truckers moving material out of St. Thomas, to prevent damage to our roads,” he said.
Dr. Ferguson further called for a cess to be implemented to deter the on-going and destructive practice.