Weight enforcement rules for review
Transport and Works Minister Michael Henry said some recommendations under the Vehicle Weight Enforcement Programme for dealing with breaches are to be reviewed.
Henry said since the programme's launch, efforts have been made to sensitise individuals through public education campaigns. He was speaking at the signing of contracts for the construction of the Harbour View Weigh Scale Station, St Andrew, at the ministry, Maxfield Avenue, Kingston recently.
This has entailed utilisation of all 14 Island Traffic Authority motor vehicle examination depots as part of the information dissemination machinery involving some 3,000 brochures being distributed and 1,700 calendars with the vehicle enforcement message.
Since the programme's inception, 111 vehicles have been checked, of which 60 were deemed to have exceeded their legal weight limits. Henry informed that this number included 35 trucks and 20 articulated trailers. He pointed out that some 27 of the trucks, representing 45 per cent of the overweight vehicles, were in excess of 5,000 kilogrammes.
Programme to be revisited
Henry said, however, that consequent on the concerns raised by various stakeholders, the programme would be revisited. Citing that the initiative was not a "big stick programme", he said that the review process would "look at a number of things".
"I have had appeals from different areas of the trucking industry, and we are having that meeting (this) week to re-examine it, in consultation with the Island Traffic Authority and all the persons concerned," he said.
The review was welcomed by Energy and Mining Minister James Robertson, who also attended the signing.
"I (am) very pleased … because I met recently with the petroleum haulers and they have a major concern … the fact that they may have to be running their equipment half empty (or) half filled. Any way you wish to look at it, it is a major concern," he said.
The Vehicle Weight Enforcement Programme also entails the establishment of fixed scales at strategic locations across the island. These include areas in Trelawny, St Mary, St Catherine and St Andrew.
The scales will be used to measure the weight of vehicles, particularly heavy units used to transport varying forms of cargo, to ascertain whether they are being operated within or contrary to their limits, at the point when the checks are made.