Dealership licences coming for motorcycle vendors

Dealership licences coming for motorcycle vendors

BY ANTHONY LEWIS
Observer writer
editorial@jamaicaobserver.com

Monday, March 04, 2019

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LILLIPUT, St James — Minister of Transport and Mining Robert Montague says under the new Road Traffic Act, motorcycle vendors will be required to have dealership licences.

The amended Road Traffic Act has new offences, larger fines and harsher penalties for motor vehicle operators who breach the law. Montague said while the Act has been passed, there are certain things that must be put in place for the groundbreaking legislation.

“You will now have to have a licence from the Ministry of Industry and Commerce to sell motorbikes, because you need a dealership licence and the Ministry of Industry and Commerce is moving to correct that. We are getting the ITA (Island Traffic Authority) to be the lead agency,” Montague said last Wednesday. “Although the Act has been passed, and the regulations are being prepared, there are certain [mechanisms] that have to be put in place, and having the lead agency treat with it.

“We are putting in the board now, and we are recruiting a managing director. So, it will take some time, but it is groundbreaking legislation. It is new, and we are deliberately taking our time to getting it right,” Montague continued.

The minster was speaking with members of the media at a high-level symposium for Caribbean transport ministers held at the Iberostar Resort in St James.

As it relates to the ease of obtaining a motorcycle by individuals using illicit funds, the minister said the Government will be depending on voluntary enforcement and shopkeepers and business owners reporting these cases.

“You can’t stifle the economy. Seventy per cent of our economy, trade, is done on a cash basis, and you can’t stifle that. So, under the POCA (Proceeds of Crime Act) legislation, cash purchases of a million dollar and over is reported. Under a million dollar is not reported. But what we are moving to do… Parliament brought lawyers and financial advisors under the auspices of the reporting mechanisms,” Montague stated.

He insisted though that there has to be a balance.

“You can’t stifle the economy, for one part. So, you can’t have a ballooning effect by squeezing one and balloon in another area. So, it has to be done with balance and over time,” Montague said.

The minister said, too, that the Government will be insisting that vendors sell a helmet and vest with each motorcycle sale. He said the motorcycle number will be required to be printed on the helmets and vest.

“What we are moving to insist on is that the dealers who sell the bikes will have to provide a helmet. So, in the purchase price of a motorbike, you will also be given a helmet just as how when you buy a motor car there is a seat belt attached. Montague said.

In the meantime, the minister said under the new Road Traffic Act, motorcyclists will now need to do a test to obtain a learner’s licence.

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