CLARK'S TOWN, Trelawny — Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Desmond McKenzie has warned that the practice by some used car dealers of exhibiting their vehicles on the sidewalks will not be allowed to continue.
He said that illegal vending is now overrunning the streets across the island, leaving little space for vehicular and pedestrian traffic to manoeuvre, and the situation has now worsened with vehicles being displayed on sidewalks.
"Use car dealers no longer use their open lots for selling, plying their trade. You get up in the mornings and you see three dozen cars parked on the sidewalk," he said.
"People have to be walking in the middle of the road. The Government will not allow it. It is not going to continue and we have been giving sufficient warning," said the minister.
"I intend to write to the [Jamaica] Used Car Dealers Association to advise them to inform their membership that this practice cannot continue. They do it without consideration for those persons who are physically challenged, and nobody takes responsibility for anything that happens but it is the Government that is blamed, it is the Government that people are calling upon. So, I'm giving notice!"
He added: "I had a meeting about two weeks ago with the Private Sector Association of Jamaica, headed by its President Keith Duncan, and we discussed the issues.
"Another problem we face is where contractors come and they drop the sand, and the cement, and the gravel on the road. They leave the [building] blocks on the sidewalk — nobody can walk pass. They come with trucks to cast cement at 12 o'clock, 1 o'clock in the morning. People can't sleep. The Government is going to respond to these issues. We cannot build a country and build on this indiscipline. The society must now recognise that law and order must be maintained because if we don't, the country is going to lose its way — and this Government is not going to allow that to happen," Mckenzie declared.
He was delivering the keynote address at the official opening of shops at the Clark's Town market in Trelawny on Thursday.
"I urge all of you who are present here this [Thursday] morning, if you are a vendor and you're not in the market, there is sufficient space in the market. If you are building and you do not have anywhere to store the material, you can engage the municipal corporation as to how it can be done. You can't use the sidewalks to ply your trade, to sell your motor vehicles. And anybody who takes offence to what I'm saying, I'm sorry, the country can't operate this way," said McKenzie.