JIS News

The Ministry of Housing, Transport, Water and Works will be seeking approval from Cabinet to transform the Island Traffic Authority (ITA) into an executive agency this financial year.
The move, in addition to the privatization of the Motor Vehicle Inspection services, is expected to change the roles and functions of the ITA and transform it into a more efficient and accountable entity.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr. Alwin Hales, in a speech read on behalf of Minister Robert Pickersgill at the Road Safety Week exhibition yesterday (May 3) at Emancipation Park, noted that while the ITA plays an important role in determining the competence of drivers and the fitness of vehicles to operate on the roads, there were “significant problems” with the operations of the Authority.
“The result of that is too often, people are certified competent to drive, who do not have the necessary competence, and too often, vehicles are certified as being fit to drive on our roads without being properly and thoroughly examined in accordance with the standards that have been laid down,” informed Dr. Hales.
Dr. Hales said “it is hoped that when these initiatives are implemented during this financial year that the country will be in a better position to feel confident that the drivers and motor vehicles are certified at world class standards. Of course, we recognize that certification is only one step but we must all seek to improve safety on our roads by appropriate changes in our attitude.”
Meanwhile, the Ministry, as part of efforts to promote road safety, will be collaborating with Moneygram to re-furbish some 370 pedestrian crossings throughout the island this financial year and is in the process of finalizing Pedestrian Crossing Submission Guidelines “so that the erection of these crossings can be streamlined and regularized.”
On the weekend, the Transport Authority will be placing advertisements in the newspapers, seeking a coordinator for the Weight Limit Enforcement Programme, which is designed to deal with the problem of overweight vehicles on the roads.
The Ministry will also be continuing its public sensitization and education in schools programmes, which have played an integral role in improving traffic discipline. In 2001, 276,000 booklets titled: ‘Safety on our Roads’, were delivered to the Ministry of Education and Youth and these have been incorporated into the traffic safety programme within the schools.
Road Safety Week, from April 23 to April 29, focused on road users under the age of 25 years, in recognition of the fact that 402 per cent of all road traffic deaths worldwide, occur within this age group.

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