Government has stepped up its plans for a three-strike rule that would revoke PSV licences for repeatedly flouting traffic laws.
Minister of Transport and Works Dr William Duguid, revealed that despite push back from the PSV industry earlier this year, the measure is to go to Cabinet for approval later this week.
Duguid said: “We will be going to Cabinet on Thursday with the list of regulations and once that is approved we will be bringing the three-strike rule, which essentially means that once you have been convicted three times for a list of offences be it either the operator or the owner, you will lose your license and with respect to the owner you will lose your permit.
Duguid appeared to suggest that the associations representing PSVs were now on board with the pending law.
Stressing that the days of just talking about eradicating bad behaviour long plaguing PSVs was over, the Minister said he was now prepared to make tough decisions to bring the bus industry under control.
Duguid declared: “ This Minister of Transport and Works is prepared to bell the cat because as I have made it clear before, we are going to bring back order to the sector and we are going to do it through legislation.
“We have consulted with the public service vehicle organisations, they have made their recommendations and we are now putting together the Transport Authority’s regulations”.
Duguid further revealed that operators and owners will not be able to shift to another area of public transport, as all licenses and permits will be revoked across the board.
“This is not a temporary loss, this is a case of you permanently losing your licenses,” said the transport minister. “The licenses will not just be your PSV license, but it will be all of your licenses. After this happens you might be able to drive a stroke, but you wouldn’t be able to drive any public service vehicles. So, we hope and pray that these very tough but necessary legislations will bring some order to the sector.”
He declared: “There is no way that these small groups of people with their disorderly behaviour can hold a country to ransom.”
The Minister explained that the rule was patterned from legislation in Trinidad and Tobago, which currently has a two-strike rule. But he revealed that after consultation with interest groups the Government opted for a more lenient stance of three strikes.
Duguid said: “We looked at the Trinidad legislation and how it operated, and they actually had it as a two-strike rule. So, after two strikes you would lose your permit or your license. However, after meeting with the associations, they argued that the two-strike rule was onerous and they asked us to change it to three strikes, and after negotiations we accepted that.”