5 of 450 trucks fined

Sugar Cane trucks line up at the Lautoka Mill. Picture: FILE/REINAL CHAND

ONLY five out of 450 trucks that delivered cane at the Lautoka sugar mill this week were booked for carrying cane in excess of the 16.5 tonne gross weight restriction, says Land Transport Authority chief executive officer Samuel Simpson.

He said once fines were imposed, lorry drivers would have to pay up.

“Five out of 450 trucks is a very small number and it shows how far the industry has come in terms of trying to meet compliance,” he said.

“At the end of the day, our job as the authority is to help Government secure the infrastructure — the roads, bridges and jetties.

“The issue with the fines is enshrined in legislation, we have no discretion in that regard. “The fine is set in the regulation which is $1000 per 1000kg over the weight.”

Mr Simpson said for drivers who had been issued traffic infringement notices (TINs), the onus was on them to settle the fine as quickly as possible.

“There are options to phase payments for the TIN over a period of time.

“Once a TIN becomes 90 days old, it becomes delinquent and it means that it becomes a recorded offence.”

Fiji Cane Lorry Transport Association president Jitendra Singh said his members were pleased with the outcome of discussions with the LTA.

“They (members) have agreed to comply with the rules and regulations,” Mr Singh said.

However, individual drivers this newspaper spoke to said they were not happy with the outcome because the weight restriction was not viable and labourers – who were paid by the tonne — would also lose out on income.

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