Private hire services will take risk and continue operation: Kumar

Drivers walking out of the Prime Minister's office in Suva after registering their complaint on Monday, September 3, 2018. Picture: RAMA

DESPITE being advised not to, private car owners will continue to take the risk of getting booked for transporting passengers to and from Suva-Lautoka-Nadi and Ba.

These were the words of Transling Transfers Cooperative Ltd secretary Rohit Kumar who spoke on behalf of more than 200 drivers yesterday.

About 30 drivers met LTA officials on Monday to find a solution as five of their vehicles had been impounded for illegal operations since last Thursday.

“We have been told to apply for LH (licensed hire) permits. Now this will take time and we just can’t stop our services,” Mr Kumar said.

“Drivers have just bought new vehicles and they need to do payments for that.

“We have no choice but to continue and if caught, we will have to pay the fines.”

Land Transport Authority manager enforcements Deo Reddy had said earlier that drivers needed to get permits to operate and his staff were just doing their job.

“Our main concern is the safety of everyone using the roads,” Mr Reddy said.

“What if an accident happens to any of these cars? Do they realise that they are not covered in any way? They do not pay taxes. They do not have permits. How can they operate?” said Mr Reddy.

He said they were not trying to victimise anyone.

“Our workers work round the clock to ensure safety on the roads at all times. I receive 10 to 15 calls every day from taxi drivers and van drivers who are operating legally complaining about these illegal operators.”

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