The Port Vila Municipal Council (PVMC) has given notice of intention to put into effect two new traffic By-Laws. They are the Bus and Taxi Stop By-Law No. of 2017 and the George Kalsakau Drive Traffic and Parking By-Law No. of 2017.

Under the Municipalities Act (CAP. 126) and in exercise of the powers conferred under Section 37 (2) of the Municipalities Act, the Port Vila Municipal Council (PVMC) has issues notices in English and French to the general public that it intends to make the two by-laws – the Bus and Taxi Stop By-Law and the George Kalsakau Drive Traffic and Parking By-Law.

Any person who contravenes these two by-laws 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.

PVMC Manager of Town Planning Jerry Sampson says the PVMC passed the First Reading of intention at its November council meeting in 2017. And notices of the intention of the municipal council have been issued to the public through the media. He adds that copies of the By-Laws are at the Notice board of PVMC Town Hall and they plan to put up the notices at other notice boards for people to comment on.

The Notices of Intention to make the by-laws lasting 30 days, after which they will become law were published in the Vanuatu Daily Post last weekend..

The Bus and Taxi Stop By-Law 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.

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.

Other vehicles, excepting police and municipal council vehicles in the act of enforcing this bye-law, must not stop in areas designated as a bus stopping area or taxi stopping area.

“1. It is the duty of all drivers to comply with this bye-law. 2. In particular, it is the duty of all bus drivers to comply with this bye-law and to only pick up and drop passengers at designated bus stop areas on main streets and to discourage passengers from requesting buses to stop at locations other than such designated bus stop areas. 3. It is the duty of owners of buses and taxis to ensure that the driver of their vehicles complies with this bye-law,” the section on Duty of Drivers and Owners states.

The PVMC will designate stopping areas for buses and taxis through erection and maintenance of signs, enforce the provisions of the bye-law for the benefit of the community in conjunction of the police.

It is lawful for any council officer authorized by council in writing to enforce this bye-law or any police officer to approach any driver who contravenes this bye-law to make enquiries, to book the driver or offender and obtain sufficient information to ascertain the owner of the vehicle.

Any driver who contravenes this bye-law and if the vehicle is a bus or taxi the owner of the vehicle, is guilty of an offence and is liable to a fine of Vt5,000. Any person who is guilty of an offence under Paragraph 2) above two or more times in a 12-month period is guilty of a repeat offence fine set 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.

The George Kalsakau Drive entry is at the northern end of the drive at the Paris Shopping Building and the exit at the southern end at the Post Office roundabout.

The purpose of the George Kalsakau Drive Traffic and Parking By-Law aims to control the use of parking of motor vehicles on George Kalskau Drive and places a ban on buses and taxis entering the area.

Buses and Taxis are not use the George Kalsakau Drive as a drive through area, except on special conditions, one of which is to drop off tourists, but not parking there.

Port Vila Urban Development Project will put in line markings, parking lane, dropoff and pick up zones, as well as handicap parking. In respect of handicap parking no other vehicles except handicap vehicles can park in the handicap parking zone.

As with the Bus Stop By-Law, one provision in this Bye-Law talks about the responsibilities and duties of drivers and owners of vehicles, whether it be private, buses or government to comply with the bylaw.

Any driver who contravenes this bye-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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