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30 illegal taxis seized in Nadi, LTA sends out stern warning

A total of thirty illegally operated or private taxis were seized in Nadi by the Land Transport Authority (LTA) over the weekend. In a statement issued by LTA, the illegal operators who were caught have been booked and issued with a warning, and will soon appear in the monthly ‘Show Cause’ disciplinary hearing which is […]

Nacanieli Tuilevuka

April 5, 2016 2:49 pm

A total of thirty illegally operated or private taxis were seized in Nadi by the Land Transport Authority (LTA) over the weekend.

In a statement issued by LTA, the illegal operators who were caught have been booked and issued with a warning, and will soon appear in the monthly ‘Show Cause’ disciplinary hearing which is presided over by Mr. Tuinaceva.

Impounded vehicles operating as PSV. PHOTO: Land Transport Authority.
Impounded vehicles operating as PSV earlier this year. (Land Transport Authority).

During Show Cause, the offenders will be required to justify why their driving license should not be suspended or cancelled and their vehicles de-registered as per regulation. If there is no justification, the Authority has the power to take away their driving license and de-register their vehicles.

Meanwhile, the LTA has challenged Public Service Vehicle (PSV) operators to provide service to the public and for pirate taxi operators to enter the level playing field instead of creating a society of lawlessness.

LTA Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Naisa Tuinaceva said pirate taxis are filling in the vacuum created by legal PSV operators who are failing to provide the required services.

I am disappointed with PSV operators because we have witnessed several instances where people have been forced to travel in illegal taxis because there is hardly any legal taxis in Nadi at night.  The PSV operators must remember the lifestyle in Fiji is changing and people are now moving about 24/7, so transport must be available at all times. We are challenging PSV operators to do their part and make our job meaningful.

LTA is reminding the public that vehicles which operate illegally as public transport are not insured and should any accident occur, the victims will not be able to claim insurance. Also, those who drive illegal public transport are not qualified PSV drivers.

While we understand that pirate taxis are filling in the vacuum, we are not condoning this act as these vehicles are total. Everything about pirate taxis is unsafe and this includes the fare they charge the public. We don’t know what type of people are driving illegal public transport, they can even be indulging in criminal activities and this is another reason why the public must not use illegal public transport.

Mr. Tuinaceva said pirate taxi operators are feeding their families with illegal money and are robbing people of livelihood which is a dirty tactic and is unacceptable.

They operate pirate taxis to make easy money but I want to remind these people that there are far better ways to make a living. There are many other legal business opportunities available and they should make use of these opportunities rather than indulging in illegal activities.

The Authority has also come across cases whereby legal PSV operators were seen operating pirate taxis. Mr. Tuinaceva said this was unfair on PSV operators who were operating within the boundaries of the system and were paying tax, third party and base fee.

The public is encouraged to report illegal public transport to LTA via the free texting code 582.

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