Mon | Jan 21, 2019

Too many seats in the PPV - Up to police, Transport Authority to enforce law

Published:Sunday | September 7, 2014 | 12:00 AM
A policeman writes a traffic ticket for a bus driver outside the Pechon Street transportation centre in Kingston. - File
A packed Toyota Coaster bus with several passengers seated across the front. - File

Sheldon Williams, Gleaner Writer

Director of the Island Traffic Authority (ITA), Ludlow Powell, is aware that some public passenger vehicle (PPV) operators have been putting in additional seats. This allows the vehicles to carry more passengers than their licences permit.

Powell said the adjustment is made after the operators received their licences from the ITA. It poses obvious risks to the public.

"Some people have been using their back seats to carry extra passengers and they shouldn't be doing that. That's why they are given four passengers and not seven or nine, or however many they want to carry," he insisted. "When they go to the depot we ask them to remove those seats, but they put them back in."

Powell said enforcement has to be carried out by the police or the Transport Authority. "If you look at their Certificate of Fitness that we issue, they are given passengers of five, to include the driver. That's what is on the Certificate of Fitness for those PPVs."

However, Powell said, "It is not an enforcement matter for us, because we do not monitor or enforce PPV. It is up to the Transport Authority to enforce if they see overloading, or up to the police."

He reinforced that "When we do the L form inspection, most times these buses don't come to us with those seats in it. Once they leave the depot and they put those seats back in there is nothing that we do; we don't go on the road and stop them because we don't have the power to do that. That is not a part of our inspection."

Powell shot down the idea that some models of vehicles used as PPVs, especially the larger buses, were made with the extra seats and therefore it should be okay.

 "The buses were imported with them, but they (the seats) are not recognised in law because they are not fixed. The seats must be fixed and not movable," he said. "Those minibus ones and those slip seats in Coaster buses are illegal."