The Taxi and Livery Commission said it will be cracking down on taxi operators as it relates to vehicle safety; this after a tour bus burst into flames while carrying tourists around the island of Tortola on Tuesday.
“What we’re going to have to do now is make sure that every bus has their fire extinguisher and persons who don’t have it can’t operate. It’s that simple,” said Commission director, Dameon Percival, adding that a proposal will be made to the minister responsible for transportation.
National Democratic Party legislator Mark Vanterpool currently handles that portfolio.
“I know it’s close to election but I’m going to even speak to the minister, whether incoming or outgoing, to put that in law to make it mandatory,”
More vigilance, vehicles working hard because of volume of cruise calls
The taxi commission director is also considering partnering with companies that maintain local tour buses to, perhaps, provide visible stickers that would show that vehicles are up-to-date as it relates to maintenance.
Percival also said Tuesday’s accident highlights the need for increased vehicle maintenance training for taxi operators.
“What we’re looking at is that fact that the vehicles have been working kind of hard because of the amount of ships coming in. So, we know there is a lot of wear and tear on the vehicles.”
“Fire suppression training also has to be an annual thing,” the taxi commision boss inserted. “We did one in the past but we haven’t done one last year. But, we do take measures to prevent these kinds of things. We at the Commission are trying our best with everything but one or two might slip through the cracks.”
He continued: “We will be a bit more vigilant now. We’ll look out for more things now, look at how we can help them (tour operators) with the heavy workload to try and prevent things like this (the fire) from happening.”
Police have launched an investigation into the fire that destroyed the tour bus in question. Preliminary indications are that the vehicle caught fire because of ‘mechanical difficulty’. Percival told BVI News that fire officers indicated at the scene that the bus had a broken power-steering fuel line.
No one was injured in the incident, which happened while the bus was heading up the Joes Hill Public Road on Tortola.
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