Transport Authority condemns 'lap-up buses', agency on high alert to prosecute offenders
The Transport Authority is condemning the practise of some public passenger operators who have been insisting that children or commuters, in general, sit in each other’s lap or be denied access.
The authority labelled the action as illegal and inhumane.
This comes against the background of a Sunday Gleaner article in which a Portland mother complained that she had to remove her 12-year-old daughter from her dream school because of the practise.
According to the mother, bus conductors have been insisting that her daughter must sit in the lap of a male for the 40-minute journey from the bus stop to her school or get off the bus.
The transport authority, in a statement this afternoon, warned against the practise.
“The seating capacity of a vehicle shall be calculated in accordance with the provisions of the regulations… and the number of passengers carried on the vehicle shall not exceed [this] seating capacity. Operators found in breach of 117 (1) of the regulations will be prosecuted and may be fined up to $50,000,” the transport regulator said.
“The practise of overloading of public passenger vehicles is dangerous to the passengers as it affects the driver’s ability to manoeuvre the vehicle effectively,” it underscored.
The authority is also reminded operators that under section 15B of the Transport Authority Regulations (2005) the installation of curtains, screens or other similar devices on a public passenger vehicle, except for Contract Carriages, which prevents inward view into the motor vehicle is an offence.
The agency says its operations’ teams are on high alert to prosecute operators found in breach of the regulations.
In the meantime, the transport authority is urging commuters to take only public passenger vehicles that operate in compliance with the law.