The Public Land Transport Authority (PLTA) has called for a stop on the use of black sticky tape to hide the letters ‘T’ (Taxi), ‘B’ (Bus) or ‘TO’ (Tour Operator) on the registration plates of public transports.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of PLTA, Reginald Tabi, said during their recent joint traffic operation on Santo, they discovered that this practice is used by many transport operators.
Mr. Tabi is calling on transport operators that are engaging in this practice to stop.
The vehicle is registered as a public transport. Based on information received, these drivers would hide the letters to avoid paying required fees which includes Public Works Department, insurance, vehicle permit, business license, and road tax.
“We were told that some of these drivers would use the black sellotape (sticky tape) to hide these letters, but, remove it when they want to earn some money,” he said.
Drivers that wish to operate their vehicles as a private vehicle must approach the office of PLTA to make a letter to the Department of Customs and Inland Revenue, to change all the registration details from a public transport to a private vehicle.
The PLTA CEO also confirmed they have noticed vehicle owners in Port Vila are also doing this.
Another issue highlighted by Mr. Tabi is unlicensed public vehicles being used to transport market produce and market vendors are charged.
The CEO stressed this is not fair on public transport owners who have a business license to operate.