New by-law prevents buses from stopping randomly on streets

Buses can only use designated areas such as this bus bay next to the Vanuatu Daily Post on Kumul Highway to stop and drop off or pick up passengers.

Starting later this month, people in Port Vila will not be able to stop buses and taxis anywhere along the main streets of the town as they do now.

This is because a new by-law prevents buses and taxis from stopping randomly on the main streets.

They can only stop in areas reserved for buses and taxis.

The Bus Stop By-Law, which becomes effective towards the end of March, aims to prohibit, on the main streets, within the boundaries of the Port Vila Municipal Council, the stopping of buses randomly on the main streets, and the stopping of other vehicles in areas reserved for the stopping of buses and taxis.

It is also the responsibility of the travelling public in Port Vila under the by-law not to stop buses and taxis anywhere along the main streets.

People must learn to stop the buses and taxis only at reserved areas such as the bus bays at the main streets constructed under the Port Vila Urban Development Project (PVUDP), jointly funded by the governments of Vanuatu and Australia and the Asian Development Bank.

Similarly, it is the responsibility of the bus and taxi owners as well as their drivers to make sure they abide by the new by-law because there are penalties for violation of the by-laws by stopping randomly along the main streets.

Buses must only stop to pick up or drop off passengers intending to travel or who are travelling on the bus at areas on the main streets designated for the stopping of buses.

Buses must only stop on the main streets at areas designated for the stopping of buses, including bus bays, whilst in the act of picking up or dropping off passengers. Buses stopping at an indented bus stopping area must, to the extent possible, fully enter the indented lane and not obstruct through traffic.

Only taxis available for hire for the transport of passengers or goods may stop at areas designated for the stopping of taxis.

The new Bus Stop By-Law also prevents private or government vehicles from using the reserved areas for buses and taxis to stop.

Any driver who contravenes this by-law and if the vehicle is a bus, taxi or service vehicle, the owner of the vehicle is guilty of an offence and is liable to a fine of: a) Vt2,000 for contravening Section 5, paragraph 1) or 4), a “general parking offence”, b) Vt5,000 for contravening section 3, paragraph 2) or Section 5, paragraph 2), 3) or 5), a “serious parking offence”, c) Vt5,000 for contravening Section 4, a “general traffic offence”, d) Vt5,000 for contravening Section 6, a “general offence”.

Any person who is guilty of an offence under sub-paragraph 2)b, 2)d) above two or more times in a 12 month period is guilty of a repeat offence and is liable to a fie of Vt10,000.

Any person who contravenes this by-law is guilty of an offence and is liable to a fine not exceeding Vt20,000 or to a period of imprisonment not exceeding 12 months or to both such fine and imprisonment.

Jonas Cullwick, a former General Manager of VBTC is now a Senior Journalist with the Daily Post. Contact: jonas@dailypost.vu. Cell # 678 5460922

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