Fiji's Land Transport Authority yesterday suspended the licenses of more than half of the 35 drivers that appeared before a disciplinary hearing in Labasa.
Drivers whose licenses were suspended have a bad track record with the LTA for habitually breaking traffic laws, one clocking as many as 124 offences with others averaging 60 traffic violations.
Careless driving topped the list of offending followed by a failure to obey road markings, overspeeding and driving unregistered vehicles.
Other offences included the improper operation of taxis, failure to use a taxi meter and dangerous driving.
The Show Cause hearing, presided over by the LTA CEO Naisa Tuinaceva, summons drivers with inordinate numbers of traffic violations, red flagged through the authority’s digital monitoring system, to justify why their license shouldn’t be seized.
“It’s not a license to kill, and having traffic violations on the high end shows a heartless attitude towards the safety of other road users or human life,” Tuinaceva said in a release.
“Every day they are out driving on the roads, they are hazardous to other’s safety."
“LTA has the responsibility to ensure roads are safe, the travelling public is safe and within that safe environment promote an enjoyable driving experience not fear."
“By extension, all road users especially drivers, share that responsibility and when they cannot show they can be trusted with it, their licenses will be taken back which is a declaration that they are unfit for our roads."
“Many drivers tend to forget that all licenses belong to the Government and it’s only with them on a hire arrangement with its attached conditions.”"
He said license suspension or cancellation, as a disciplinary measure, is only used as a last resort.
Drivers with a mean age of 37, the oldest being 59 were either suspended for two years, 18 months, 12 months, eight months, six months, four and three months.
Twelve drivers were issued final warnings.
“Drivers must toe the line because we certainly don’t have room for bad, reckless, disrespectful, dangerous and inconsiderate drivers on Fiji roads,” he added.
By Reginald Chandar