VT500,000 fine to be implemented under Public Land Transport Act

PLTA CEO Reginal Gerian Tabi. Photo: Kizzy Kalsakau

Chief Executive Officer of the Public Land Transport Authority (PLTA), Reginal Tabi says the Vt500,000 spot fine is being undertaken under Public Land Transport Act.

This means it affects only service buses, taxis, and tour operators that are found under the influence of alcohol and driving.

It does not affect private vehicles.

Mr Tabi says this is because the Road Traffic Act is a separate legislation, but the ministerial order is being carried out under the Public Land Transport Act.

Minister of Internal Affairs, Andrew Napuat, signed the ministerial order last year in May for the imposition of Vt500,00 fine and the vehicle impounded until the payment is made.

Tabi says initially there was confusion as to who will implement this ministerial order, but implementing authorities have had discussions and the Vanuatu Police Force will be collaborating with the Public Land Transport authority to implement the Public Land Transport Act.

The PLTA CEO says while the amount is huge, it is a penalty fine, which means if the driver does not drink and drive, they will not pay Vt500,000.

Under the Public Land Transport Act, the implementing authority has the power to prescribe the use of Breathalyzers, to measure the amount of alcohol consumed.

”We are organizing a meeting with the Town Clerk this week and we will also invite the police to sit in so we can communicate these issues and also reflect on what we should do and what we should not do,” Mr Tabi said.

”And whether we have the legal powers to perform those specific functions or not.

”We should not be stepping on someone else’s toes.

”We should be performing what we are legally obliged to do so but not what we think we need to do.”

One other issue is that of a holding area for vehicles impounded. At this stage, the space outside the Convention Center is being used.

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