Transport Minister Makes Proposals to Adjust Rules
Minister of Transport and Mining, Hon. Robert Montague, has made proposals to adjust the rules for public passenger vehicle operators, with the objective of reducing road crashes, safeguarding the lives of Jamaicans and accommodating drivers who want to design their own routes.
At IGL Blue’s Health, Safety and Environment Road Safety Incentive Awards Ceremony, held on the grounds of the gas manufacturing company’s Spanish Town Road location on Wednesday (June 13), Mr. Montague said since he was appointed the Minister in March, he has been working on these new proposals.
“Another area of concern since I’ve become Minister is our public transportation industry, and I have made some proposals to treat with those who participate in that industry. The proposals we have made are not cast in stone, but we have made some proposals because the public transportation system… cannot continue to operate the way it is,” Mr. Montague said.
“One of my proposals is having a GPS tracker on a public passenger vehicle that is on at all times. That is to ensure that the Transport Authority knows where a taxi is at all times, so that when a taxi driver is accused of committing a crime, we at least know where the car was, [as] the taxi driver is not always at fault,” he said.
Mr. Montague said he also proposes for operators of public passenger vehicles to create their own routes, as this will allow rural-area taxi operators to be able to register with the Traffic Authority of Jamaica, given that many of their routes are not on record.
The Minister said feedback and suggestions from Jamaicans are welcome on the proposals he has made.
“If we agree that the system cannot continue the way it is, and you don’t like my proposals, fine, but you also have a duty as a Jamaican, to put some alternatives on the table. Let us come up with the best set of proposals to treat with the industry,” he said.
In addition to the proposals, Mr. Montague said the Ministry is looking at placing machines at the Island Traffic Authority locations that will issue fitness certificates.
“We have moved to include more technology in the Island Traffic [Authority], because a lot of persons will note that they are now getting a printed fitness certificate. It’s no longer being handwritten, and the next stage we are moving to, is to have a spot at the depots, geolocated and geofenced, that if your vehicle is not parked in that spot, and the reader doesn’t read your vehicle and the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) of the vehicle, the machine will not produce a fitness certificate,” he said.
He noted that for far too long, vehicles are being certified with fitness certificate, but they are not brought to the depot for tests, and this can result in road crashes and the loss of lives.