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UPDATE: Antigua PM says no ban on Toyota vehicle

Published:Wednesday | July 24, 2019 | 2:04 PM

ST JOHN’S, Antigua, CMC –Prime Minister Gaston Browne Wednesday said there would be “no ban” on the importation of the Toyota Vitz vehicle after Health Minister Molwyn Joseph said he was urging the government to do so after describing the vehicle as a “public health issue”.

“There is no ban on Vitz vehicles. The Health Minister expressed concerns about the safety of those vehicles and we recommend caution when driving with speed. Please note, however, there will be no such ban on these vehicles,” Browne said in the brief message posted on his official Facebook page.

Joseph has linked the vehicle to a number of serious crashes involving young people, adding “it is a public health problem costing the government a lot of money to respond.

Joseph told legislators that the vehicle “has an engine that is more powerful than the body of the vehicle. So that what happens is, when these young people drive these vehicles, it’s like they are sliding on air, so they don’t feel the traction of the road for them to feel how fast the vehicle is going.”

He said to underscore the seriousness of the situation persons would have to work more closely with the emergency room personnel at Mount St John’s Medical Centre to understand the urgency needed to deal with the matter.

Joseph said that he had first brought up the issue of banning the importation of the vehicle with Attorney general, Steadroy Benjamin, after three consecutive crashes involving the Toyota Vitz.

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