'We are rebelling' - Hanover taxi operators protest over Road Traffic Act
A number of protesters connected to the Hanover Taxi Association based in Hopewell, Hanover who participated in today's demonstration.

HOPEWELL, Hanover - Several persons, many attached to the Hanover Taxi Association based in Hopewell, Hanover, staged a protest over what some described as "outrageous" aspects of the Road Traffic Act.

The protesters, some of them bearing placards, were being observed by members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force who turned up to ensure law and order was maintained.

The Hopewell road leading to Reading in St James was partially blocked utilising cutdown trees across the road.

Read: WATCH: 'Tired and fed up' - One Voice taxi operator's strike over 'unfair' treatment from Gov't

The group are insisting that while they support aspects of the Road Traffic Act, which has resulted in increased fines and the enforcement of provisions which were already on the books, they are of the view that much of the traffic act is "outrageous".

"This protest is not all about car seats. We see where they are trying to take away our driver's licence because we acknowledge that every driver's licence carries 14 points. Under one seat belt ticket, it can take four points from your driver's licence," explained one protestor who gave his name as ‘Out-A-Road.’

"So, this is a scam and a sham. So, right now we are rebelling against the new Road Traffic Act. It is way ridiculous," argued Out-A-Road.

A section of the Act, which also prohibited vehicle owners from towing another vehicle in need is another contentious issue for the protestors.

"Now, you have fi guh use a wrecker [or tow truck] which is $45,000. If you can't afford it, how it go? It is impossible. We are not working with the new Road Traffic Act in no way. So, we come this morning for it to be abandoned and if it is not stopped, we are coming tomorrow morning again and again and again," emphasised the protestor.

‘Out-A-Road’ made it clear, however, that he is in full support of putting a stop to drivers utilising cellphones while driving, driving without a driver's licence, and driving without insurance.

READ: 'The children will be walking

Kemar Barrett, another protestor, pointed to another contentious issue which caught the attention of Prime Minister Andrew Holness regarding the need for all Public Passenger Vehicles to be equipped with a seat restraining system for children under 12 years old.

Barrett claimed his twin cousins were impacted this morning while trying to get a vehicle for school. He said the requirement has resulted in some vehicles denying some customers their services.

Last Friday, Holness committed the Government's intent to revise this section of the law.

READ: Gov't to review child restraint seat regulation

Anthony Lewis

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