Ministry eyeing new type of number plate with security features

- Rohee

The Home Affairs Ministry is currently engaged in talks with the Ministry of Finance and the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) in a bid to implement a new type of computerised number plate with security features.

Minister of Home Affairs Clement Rohee made this disclosure Wednesday during a follow-up meeting with members of the Guyana Taxi Service Association to discuss issues that were raised but not agreed to during previous meetings held in the presence of President Bharrat Jagdeo, the Government Information Agency (GINA) reported.

President of the association Patrick Brassington had recommended that metal number plates be used to reduce incidences of tampering. There was also a call  by one taxi driver for standard number plates for all vehicles in Guyana, not just taxis.

Clement Rohee

Meanwhile, among the issues previously raised by the taxi service body were the need to have  unique number plates for taxis; greater police scrutiny of  private cars to discourage them from operating as hire cars; discouraging private cars from working at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA), prohibiting persons under the age of 25 from  operating taxis; and amending the Road Traffic Act to allow for application of markings on cars for identification purposes.

Other issues previously raised include having third party statements  taken at the scene of accidents involving taxis, retesting drivers in both theory and practical prior to renewal of licences; allowing taxis  to share bus stops and assigning taxis priority lanes at special public events, GINA said.

Regarding  the level of visibility of tints that are used on the windows of vehicles, Minister Rohee said that the law stipulates that vehicles that are imported with manufacturer’s tint should not be used on the streets in Guyana.

However, since more cars with tints are being imported into the country, government instituted a provision where the minister could use his discretion to grant a six-month waiver for the owner of the vehicle to acquire a fitness certificate.

He noted that recently, however, instances have been discovered where the signature of the minister has been forged and  persons darken the tint on their vehicle after acquiring the waiver.

“This kind of behaviour makes a mockery of the process. It is not we the government who are creating the problem, we are facilitating but people are taking advantage of this facilitation,” he lamented.

With regards to the age limit for taxi drivers, the association is of the view that the age should remain at 21 provided that he/she is the holder of a driver’s licence for a period of three years instead of two.

Members were also of the view that third party witnesses should be targeted at the scene of accidents involving taxis.

The association also highlighted its position on the installation of a standard CD player and AM/FM receiver to be played only with the speakers installed at the time the vehicle was purchased.

Rohee agreed to this recommendation for taxis only on the basis that the music is played without any amplification.

In October, President Jagdeo met with the association and several concessions were extended to taxi drivers  to encourage them to spray in corporate yellow.

That meeting also led to an extension of the deadline for corporate yellow to January 1, 2011 for cars attached to taxi services and an optional offer for taxis not associated with services to be sprayed in yellow.

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