JIS News

Minister of Transport and Works, Mike Henry, has informed that the Transport Authority is to complete an all-island rationalisation survey of public passenger vehicles (PPV) and commercial carriers by the end of next month.
“This survey should help to more clearly, establish the real needs in terms of licensing and operational requirements of the authority on the nation’s roads,” Mr. Henry said, as he made his contribution to the 2008/09 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives today (May 28).
He stated that a series of reports are to be done from the survey data, which are expected to provide information on matters like the commuter population on the various routes; the compliance rate among PPV operators in respect of wearing uniforms and having the necessary markings on their vehicles; and the adequacy or inadequacy of the various PPV terminals; plus guidelines on ensuring safety of travel on PPVs.
“Overall, the survey will offer a meaningful opportunity for the Transport Authority to seek to significantly improve its services, which is something that is being insisted upon,” Mr. Henry said.
Among the strategies to be used to bring about these improvements include enhancing operational efficiency through the use of technology such as cameras, including web cameras; Geographic Information Systems and hand-held devices; and increasing the number of transport inspectors significantly by September 2008.
Other strategies are: improving the mobility of the inspectorate by increasing the authority’s motor vehicle fleet in terms of buses, cars and motorcycles; re-training of enforcement officers in the areas of statement writing, and presentation of evidence and law; rotation of inspectors to improve accountability and control; and developing and implementing a colour-coding system for taxis.
Mr. Henry also stated that the Ministry intended to make some radical changes to the Transport Authority seizure and release policy. “It is intended to seek to establish a 24-hour operation in terms of the release of vehicles from the authority’s pounds. This will eliminate the unnecessary holding of vehicles overnight and over weekends, where the required processing has been completed and release has been authorised,” he explained.
The Minister informed that this fiscal year, the authority will become more stringent in enforcing the mandatory regulations for operators of PPVs to wear designated uniforms and have the Transport Authority’s badges displayed in their vehicles while on duty.
“This is while it moves ahead to significantly improve its own licensing systems and customer service, including the processing of applications for the release of seized vehicles, and the projected introduction of online application processing for commercial carriers’ licences next month, with payments being possible via credit cards,” the Minister said.
The Transport Authority is also seeking to improve the legislative framework governing its activities to, for example, allow its inspectors to issue tickets for road traffic offences, instead of summonses, as is presently the case.
Also under the proposed modernization of the Motor Vehicle Inspection Services by the Island Traffic Authority, modern diagnostic and testing equipment are to be acquired and provisions made for the emission testing of all categories of vehicles.