Public transport operators threaten disruptions, police urge vigilance

June 10, 2024

The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) is advising citizens to remain vigilant in light of anticipated disruptions to the public transportation system today, as operators take issue with the suspension of licences. 

There are reports of blocked roads in the Stony Hill area of St Andrew. 

"Parents, please ensure that your children are not left stranded. Plan ahead and make the necessary arrangements in light of the risk of transportation issues," the police said in a statement early Monday. 

The JCF says it is actively monitoring the situation and will provide periodic updates. 

Transport Minister Daryl Vaz yesterday said he made checks on the reports of protest action by transport operators and "normalcy is expected tomorrow (Monday)". 

Some transport players are upset at the decision of the Island Traffic Authority to suspend the driver's licences of some public transport operators who have accumulated 10 demerit points as a result of traffic violations.

They have threatened to withdraw their services starting as early as this morning and extending into tomorrow and Wednesday.

However, Egerton Newman, president of Transport Operators Development Sustainable Services (TODSS), one of the main lobbies, said no strike action would be taken as, according to him, a majority of the operators offering commuting service to the public are not in favour of any protest action at this time.

Newman, yesterday, said transport operators have met with Vaz and that the issues around the suspension of the driver's licences have been discussed and will be addressed following further consultations.

In a statement on Friday, the Island Traffic Authority said it is in receipt of a joint submission from four groups clearly outlining the concerns about the 2018 Road Traffic Act. 

It said Vaz has asked for another meeting with the operators to examine the offences under the Road Traffic Act,  specifically those that attract demerit points. That meeting is scheduled for tomorrow. 

Under the new law losing 10 points could result in licences being suspended for six months. 

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