Tougher laws are to be implemented to deter persons operating vehicles with continuous tracks from driving on public roads.
According to Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Communication and Works Anthony McMaster, these vehicles are wrecking the territory’s roads and costing taxpayers.
By law, vehicles that run on continuous tracks are to be transported on trailers when moving from one location to another.
However, McMaster said persons operating these vehicles have realized that it is cheaper to break the territory’s traffic laws than to transport these vehicles the legal way.
“Currently the legislation that we have are quite outdated. For example, one of the current legislation prohibits track vehicles like excavators, bulldozers, etcetera from driving on the public road.”
“The fines for driving on such currently is about $50. If you have to pay a lowboy trailer, which is the vehicle that transports these sort of equipment, it probably cost you between $200 and $400. So, as an owner, if you consider the fine versus doing what’s right, people tend to overlook the law and say ‘OK, if I’m caught I could pay the $50 fine’,” McMaster explained.
He said roads that were recently repaired are already being impacted by these heavy equipment vehicles.
The ministry is now looking to have the laws amended to put an end to the issue.
“The Ministry of Communication and Works will be putting forward recommendations to the Cabinet for approval to go forward to the House of Assembly to modernise those legislations with the inclusion of heavier fees,” McMaster said.
He further said the ministry will consult with the public to determine how much to increase the fees.
“We don’t want to sit in our offices and say ‘OK, we are going to charge you $500 or $5,000’. We prefer to have a discussion with the public and make sure the public understands the effects of these sort of equipment on the infrastructure because, at the end of the day, every one of us as taxpayers is paying for the reconstruction of those roads. So, if we can get everybody doing the right thing and utilizing the public infrastructures properly, it will reduce the cost to all of us in the long run,” McMaster reasoned.
The permanent secretary went on to describe the problem as a longstanding one.
Meanwhile, Chairman of the Disaster Recovery Coordination Committee, Brodrick Penn said roughly 19 miles of roads are to be rebuilt across the territory.
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