Processing of badges for PPV drivers to be improved, says Montague

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Processing of badges for PPV drivers to be improved, says Montague

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Ministry of Transport and Mining is to undertake a 'Free up the Badge' campaign, geared at improving the processing of badges for drivers of public passenger vehicles (PPV).

This was disclosed by Portfolio Minister Robert Montague, in a statement to the House of Representatives yesterday.

He noted that on an annual basis, the Transport Authority issues more than 20,000 road licences for public passenger vehicles, islandwide.

Additionally, the authority issues a badge or licence to operators of public passenger vehicles, upon their completion of the application and training processes.

“Despite the authority's best efforts, only 30 per cent of operators of PPVs possess the Transport Authority badge. This means that a significant number of the public passenger vehicle operators on the nation's roadways may not have been exposed to any form of driver education. This situation is of great concern to our road safety initiative and, therefore, is in need of urgent correction,” Montague said.

Under the campaign, those who have applied for road licences over the past 10 months will automatically qualify for badges. As such, they will only be required to pay the processing fee of $3,000.00 and complete the driver education training course undertaken by the Transport Authority. Montague informed that one of the main reasons for non-compliance with the badge is that several operators have an adverse police record.

“Where applicants for badges have a minor criminal offence, the Transport Authority will issue a temporary badge, valid until March 31, 2019, provided that the applicant pays the minimal fee of $2,000.00. During this period, the applicant is encouraged to apply to the Ministry of Justice to have his criminal record expunged,” he explained.

He added that all other applications for badges will be assessed on a case by case basis.

Meanwhile, to support the 'Free up the Badge' campaign, the Transport Authority will be revamping the Driver Education Programme to focus on Customer Service, Safety and Defensive Driving.

Montague informed that this driver education programme will be reformulated to utilise mainly participatory learning tools with a reduced emphasis on the conventional means of assessment, to ensure the maximum involvement of participants and hands-on approach to learning.

“These participatory tools include role play, visual aids and the use of technology (simulators). It is hoped that these measures will greatly improve the sense of driver responsibility and accountability on our roads and reduce the carnage that has plagued us over the years,” he added.

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