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Gov't urged to include taxi representative in review of new Road Traffic Act

By Kimone Witter 

President of the Central Manchester Taxi Association, Shirley Johnson, has suggested that a representative of taxi associations be part of any review or discussion on the new Road Traffic Act, going forward.

Mr. Johnson argued that if a representative of one of the national bodies was included in the discussions, the impracticality of the regulation on child restraint seats in taxis would have been highlighted.

He said several associations have tried, unsuccessfully, to meet with Transport Minister Audley Shaw before the new act was passed, to hold broad-based discussions with him about the issues affecting the sector.

Mr. Johnson said he is hopeful public passenger vehicle operators will be included in further discussions.

"We are the ones who build the foundation, who take the people to work and take them home. We are the ones who carry most of the school children, and so we are asking the government that when they are forming the next committee, to get somebody from the taxi fraternity onboard that they can get information from them," he urged.  

Transport Minister Audley Shaw told Radio Jamaica News he is willing to meet with taxi associations. This could happen as early as next week.

The National Road Safety Council is to review the new Road Traffic Act at its meeting scheduled for next week.

The government has also said the requirement for all motorists to equip their vehicles with child restraint equipment will be reviewed.

Mr. Johnson said he has urged taxi operators in central Manchester to refuse to carry children under 12 until a final decision comes from the government.