HEAD of the Police Traffic Division, Senior Superintendent Radcliffe Lewis is warning operators of public passenger buses and route taxis that they have until October 7 to remove sound systems and tints from their vehicles.
"By 6:00 am on October 7, all tints and loud music should be removed from public passenger vehicles. That is the directive now. In one week and three days all tints must be removed. If you play music you are going to be charged for playing music on a PPV. In addition to that it is likely that your buses will be seized," he said.
Under the Transport Authority regulations, heavily amplified sound systems and dark tints are not allowed in public passenger vehicles.
Lewis also warned operators who employ inventive means to install sound systems with the hope of the police not finding them during searches of their vehicles, that the police were aware of the ploy and were prepared to nab and charge any operator who attempts to outsmart them.
"We are going to check for the amplified system. They have some skilful ways of putting it some places that is between the outside and the inside of the vehicle and you have to use experts to find it. So we know exactly where they are placed and we are going to check it to make sure," he said.
In 2009 the police embarked an on islandwide crackdown against public passenger vehicles that had darkly tinted windows and audio-visual equipment, citing lewd behaviour by schoolchildren and some adults as the reason.
Hundreds of taxis and buses had their licence plates removed during the drive, which drew the ire of the operators and cited a bias by the authorities who turned a blind eye to Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) buses that operate with heavy tints.
Lewis, who openly supports the removal of tints and sound systems from minibuses, said that the JUTC buses did not play lewd music and the outrageous behaviour of schoolchildren and adults was not allowed on State-owned buses.
"The JUTC bus is a different kettle of bus. The JUTC buses, they don't play lewd music and in the JUTC buses inappropriate behaviour is not taking place. It's the government bus. I have nothing to say about the JUTC. What I am concerned about are the minibuses where most of the inappropriate behaviour takes place," he said.
Some operators withdrew their service in protest, which prompted former transport minister Mike Henry to arrange a meeting with them.
Soon after the Transport Authority relaxed its stance and allowed the operators to use tints that allowed the cops to be able to see inside the vehicles.
However, Lewis said that the move has backfired as the operators have flouted the law.
"If you give Jamaicans an inch they take a mile, so they eventually place back the dark tints on the vehicle and that is the reason why this action is now being taken and it will not be rescinded," Lewis said.
Lewis also said that the police would be vigilant in its joint enforcement drive with the JUTC to rid the streets of route taxis and robot buses which operate on routes that are exclusive to the bus company.
Since last week the police have been active in Half-Way-Tree where drivers of illegal route taxis which operate on the JUTC 44 and 46 bus routes which service commuters between Half-Way-Tree and Havendale and Half-Way-Tree and Meadowbrook respectively.
A number of illegal route taxis have been seized by the cops.
"The drive will continue and we will not be easing up," he said.
Lewis also warned that minibuses which display advertisements will also be targeted.