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Approximately two months after rolling out its Vehicle Weight Enforcement Programme, the Island Traffic Authority (ITA) is expressing satisfaction with the level of compliance.
Speaking Thursday (February 18) at a JIS Think Tank, Director of the ITA, Paul Clemetson, singled out the Caribbean Cement Company as one entity that has given its full backing to the initiative.
“Caribbean Cement has demonstrated voluntary compliance to the nth degree and we would want to regard them as our ally. What we have observed is that Carib Cement, as a leader in the process, ensures that no vehicle is laden with weight in excess of their legal limit,” he noted
He appealed to other companies to support the initiative, in order to prevent the colossal damage that is being meted out to the island’s roads. The legal consequences of opting not to do so could prove very expensive, he said.
He disclosed that, starting May, the ITA will be substituting the soft approach adopted in the first three months of the campaign for tougher measures.
Despite the cooperation of most entities and truckers, the ITA Head pointed out that since the operation began in December, some team members have been subjected to abuse from truck drivers, who continue to carry loads exceeding stipulated weight limits.
“What we have observed is that many of the operators of trucks that convey aggregate have been abusive to members of the team, and have been very defiant and insist that they will not comply,” he stated.
Mr. Clemetson noted that employees, from all 16 of the ITA Depots, across Jamaica, have been instrumental in assisting truckers with vehicle weight enforcement matters.
He said that the ITA has been distributing brochures to truckers to further educate them about the programme.
Mr. Clemetson noted that of the over 100 vehicles checked in six road operations, 18 truckers have been prosecuted for conveying loads of ten metric tonnes or more in excess. In addition seven truck operators have been prosecuted for operating defective vehicles.
“It is not alarming that you have this significant number (of defective vehicles), because the truckers are really conveying loads that will result in the mass deterioration of their trucks, as well,” noted the ITA Director.
Added to the effect on the investment of haulage contractors, Mr. Clemetson noted that truck overload has contributed largely to the deterioration of the road network.
“What we have observed is that this excessive weight is having rapid deterioration on our bridges, culvert’s and our road surfaces. Engineers have been able to determine that roads that have been built to provide a life of 15 years have been seeing such mass erosions that the effective life is reduced to 2