With attempts to crack down on bad behavior by privately-owned PSVs being hampered by loopholes in the existing laws, the Transport Authority says that it not only plans to close those gaps, but also introduce three new measures which will hold drivers to greater account.
This revelation was made by chairman of the Transport Authority Ian Estwick who acknowledged this morning that the current laws were “far from perfect,” and that along with a lack of resources, the conditions were right for operators to continue to flout the road laws. However, he did not go into details about the new measures, noting that the public would be made aware when the process has been completed.
“We are now looking at legislation targeting the drivers themselves… There would be no let up because we are seeing some light at the end of the tunnel, but I will tell you that the legislation that we have to work with is not by any stretch of the imagination perfect. We have experienced problems from time to time, but they are not insurmountable,” said Estwick, who was addressing the issue on VOB’s Down to Brass Tacks.
The Transport Authority head pointed out that his office did not have the manpower or the financial resources to carry out the type of investigations necessary or to even catch some of these persons in the act. In fact, Esthwick revealed that his office only had one inspector, which meant that the chances of spotting bad behavior was greatly diminished.
“There are suspensions [of permits] but we don’t broadcast them but there are suspensions. The thing is we do not have any bottomless pit when it comes to money, we have no inspectors as such, we have one person that goes on the road and sees what is happening. We send him to specific areas where we had reports of bad behavior,” he explained.
Estwick further noted that much was dependent on reports from the public, but this task was easier said than done, as while many persons were willing to call the hotline, very few are willing to give testimony before the tribunal.
“We do not have the support of the public that we hope that we would have. We hear excuses such as this fella is a violent man, we also hear people say that they don’t want to testify because they were fearful that the same ZR or minibus would not pick them up on the road. I understand that and we are not forcing anybody to risk life or limb. Where persons feel they can do it, please let us know because it is not a court, it is a simple tribunal,” he said.
In the meantime, Esthwick noted that it was not all bad news. He noted improvements in behavior among the PSV community. He also expressed confidence that further improvements would come once owners and drivers are made aware of the new cost associated with breaking the law.