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Public Land Transport Act 2015

REPUBLIC OF VANUATU
PUBLIC LAND TRANSPORT
ACT NO. 4 OF 2015


Arrangement of Sections


______________________


REPUBLIC OF VANUATU


Assent: 04/08/2015
Commencement: 12/11/2015


PUBLIC LAND TRANSPORT
ACT NO. 4 OF 2015


An Act to control the operation and management of public land transport in Vanuatu.


Be it enacted by the President and Parliament as follows-


PART 1 PRELIMINARY MATTERS


1 Interpretation


(1) In this Act unless a contrary intention appears:


Association means a Public Land Transport Association registered under section 11;


Authority means the Public Land Transport Authority established under section 2;


Chief Executive Officer means the person appointed as Chief Executive Officer of the Public Land Transport Authority appointed by the Minister under subsection 9(1);


common transport means a motor vehicle that is equipped for the transportation of passengers and goods and constructed such that the majority of passengers are located separate from the driver’s compartment;


Council means the Municipal Council established under the Municipalities Act [CAP 126] or the Provincial Government Council established under the Decentralisation Act [CAP 230];


driver means a person who has been issued with a valid general or tourist driver’s permit under this Act;


general public means any person but does not include a tourist;


Minister means the Minister responsible for the Public Land Transport;


passenger means a person other than the driver, who is being transported on a public land transport for a fee, charge or reward;


permit officer means a person appointed by the Authority under section 13 for the purposes of this Act;


public land transport means a taxi, service bus, tour operator or a common transport that is being used for the purpose of transporting passengers for a fee, charge or reward;


owner means a person who has legal ownership over a public land transport which has been issued with a vehicle permit under this Act;


service bus means a motor vehicle equipped to transport more than 7 persons, excluding the driver, and is constructed in such a way that the driver and passengers are located in the same structural compartment;


taxi means a motor vehicle equipped to transport less than 7 persons excluding the driver, and is constructed in such a way that the driver and passengers are located in the same structural compartment;


tourist means a person issued with a visitor’s visa under the Immigration Act No. 17 of 2010 and other classes of non-citizens prescribed by the Minister;


vehicle means a conveyance for use on land, whether or not it is also capable of being used on or over water;


vehicle permit means a permit issued by the Public Land Transport Authority under section 27 authorising a vehicle to be used as a public land transport for the purpose of this Act.


(2) References in this Act to permit officer also includes persons authorised by the permit officer to carry out the functions and powers of the permit officer as prescribed in this Act.


PART 2 PUBLIC LAND TRANSPORT AUTHORITY


Division 1 Establishment and composition


2 Public Land Transport Authority


(1) The Public Land Transport Authority is established.


(2) The Public Land Transport Authority:


(a) is a body corporate with perpetual succession; and


(b) is to have an official seal; and


(c) may sue and be sued in its corporate name.


(3) The Authority consists of the following members:


(a) the Director of the Department of Local Authorities; and


(b) the Director of the Department of Tourism; and


(c) the head of the Traffic Section of the Vanuatu Police Force; and


(d) a representative of the Minister of Internal Affairs; and


(e) the Chairperson of each Public Land Transport Association registered under subsection 11(2).


3 Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson


(1) The Director of the Department of Local Authorities is the Chairperson of the Authority.


(2) The members of the Authority are to elect from amongst themselves the Deputy Chairperson of the Authority for a term not exceeding 2 years.


(3) Despite subsection (2), the Deputy Chairperson may be removed at any time at a meeting of the Authority by a simple majority of votes.


4 Term of appointment of member representing the Minister of Internal Affairs


(1) The member is to be appointed by the Minister for a period of not more than 3 years and may be re-appointed.


(2) The member may:


(a) be removed at any time, by the Minister; or


(b) resign by notice in writing to the Minister.


Division 2 Functions and powers of the Authority


5 Functions of the Authority


The Authority has the following functions:


(a) to oversee the carrying on of the business of providing public land transport services within Vanuatu; and


(b) to ensure that owners and drivers of public land transport vehicles comply with the provisions of this Act; and


(c) to organise trainings for owners or drivers of public land transport vehicles; and


(d) to set or prescribe standards that have to be met by owners or drivers of public land transport and vehicles; and


(e) to prescribe the system of fare levying to be used and the fare structure to be charged by public land transport operators in municipalities or provinces; and


(f) to advise the Minister on public land transport matters generally; and


(g) to register all Provincial Public Land Transport Associations; and


(h) to determine general and tourist pick-up areas and who is permitted to use each of these areas; and


(i) such other functions that may be conferred on the Authority by this Act or any other Act.


6 Powers of the Authority


The Authority has the power to do all things that are necessary or convenient to be done for or in connection with the performance of its functions under this Act or any other Act.


7 Delegation of functions and powers


(1) The Authority may, in writing, delegate to the Chief Executive Officer or any staff of the Authority, any of its functions or powers under this Act other than the power of delegation.


(2) The delegation may be made generally or in respect of a particular matter or class of matters.


(3) The Authority may at any time revoke or vary a delegation.


(4) A delegation does not prevent the Authority from performing the function or exercising the power that it has delegated.


Division 3 Meetings of the Authority


8 Meetings of the Authority


(1) The Authority is to meet at least 4 times a year and may hold such other meetings as are necessary for the proper performance of its functions.


(2) The Chairperson of the Authority is to preside at all meetings of the Authority and in his or her absence, the Deputy Chairperson is to preside at these meetings.


(3) At a meeting of the Authority, a quorum consists of:


(a) the Chairperson or the Deputy Chairperson if the Chairperson is for any reason unable to attend or preside at the meeting; and


(b) 7 members,


present at that meeting.


(4) The Authority may meet despite any vacancies in its membership so long as a quorum is present.


(5) If a member is for any reason unable to attend a meeting of the Authority, he or she may nominate some other person to represent him or her at a meeting of the Authority.


(6) A member present at a meeting has 1 vote and questions arising at a meeting are to be decided by a majority of votes.


(7) The Chief Executive Officer has no voting rights in any meeting of the Authority.


(8) Minutes are to be kept of all meetings of the Authority and are to be taken by or under the direction of the Chief Executive Officer to form a permanent record of such meetings.


(9) Subject to this Act, the Authority is to determine and regulate its own procedures.


(10) The Minister is to prescribe by Order, the sitting allowances of the members of the Authority including the Chief Executive Officer.


Division 4 Chief Executive Officer and Staff of the Authority


9 Chief Executive Officer of the Authority


(1) The Chief Executive Officer of the Authority is to be appointed by the Authority for a period of 5 years and is eligible for re-appointment.


(2) The Authority is to determine the terms and conditions of employment of the Chief Executive Officer.


(3) The appointment of the Chief Executive Officer of the Authority under subsection (1), must follow a fair and transparent selection process based on merit.


(4) A person is disqualified from being appointed as the Chief Executive Officer if the person:


(a) is or becomes a member of Parliament, a member of a Provincial Government Council or a member of a Municipal Council; or


(b) is bankrupt or has made an arrangement in the nature of composition or assignment with his or her creditors; or


(c) has been convicted of an offence and sentenced to a term of imprisonment for a term of 6 months or more, whether or not it is a suspended sentence.


(5) The Chief Executive Officer ceases to hold office if:


(a) he or she is disqualified for appointment under subsection (4); or


(b) he or she becomes permanently incapable of performing his or her functions under this Act; or


(c) he or she resigns from his or her office by notice in writing addressed to the Minister; or


(d) his or her appointment is terminated by the Authority for a serious breach of the terms and conditions of his or her employment.


(6) The Chief Executive Officer has the following functions:


(a) to be responsible for the day to day administration of the Authority; and


(b) to liaise with the Register of the Vanuatu Financial Service Commission to ensure that Associations registered under section 11 are working effectively; and


(c) to convene meetings of the Authority at the request of the Authority; and


(d) to prepare and circulate agendas and issue papers for meetings of the Authority; and


(e) to coordinate, facilitate and implement the decisions of the Authority; and


(f) to attend, take, keep and maintain a proper record of the minutes of all meetings of the Authority and circulate them within 3 weeks after each meeting; and


(g) to act on any matters that the Authority directs him or her to do in relation to matters of the administration of the Authority; and


(h) to mobilise appropriate resources for the efficient implementation of all decisions of the Authority; and


(i) to ensure that meetings are held according to the approved schedule of the meetings; and


(j) such other functions that may be conferred on the Chief Executive Officer by this Act or any other Act.


(7) The Chief Executive Officer must attend all meetings of the Authority and if he or she is unable to attend a meeting, nominate a staff of the Authority to attend on his or her behalf.


10 Other staff of the Authority


(1) The Authority may employ other staff of the Authority as it considers necessary for the proper and efficient performance of the functions of the Authority.


(2) The Authority is to determine the terms and conditions of employment of the persons referred to in subsection (1).


(3) The appointment of other staff of the Authority under subsection (1), must follow a fair and transparent selection process and must be based on merit.


PART 3 PUBLIC LAND TRANSPORT ASSOCIATIONS


Division 1 Registration and membership


11 Registration of a Public Land Transport Association


(1) Subject to subsection (2), the following Associations must be registered with the Authority:


(a) TORBA Public Land Transport Association; and


(b) SANMA\LUGANVILLE Public Land Transport Association; and


(c) PENAMA Public Land Transport Association; and


(d) MALAMPA Public Land Transport Association; and


(e) SHEFA\PORT VILA Public Land Transport Association; and


(f) TAFEA\LENAKEL Public Land Transport Association.


(2) An Association stated in subsection (1) must be registered in accordance with the Charitable Associations (Incorporation) Act [CAP 140].


12 Membership of an Association


(1) An owner and driver of a public land transport must be registered as a member of the Association in which the public land transport operates.


(2) An Association may determine terms and conditions for membership and fees to be paid before a person may become a member of that Association.


13 Permit Officer


The Authority is to appoint a permit officer for each Association.


Division 2 Functions and Powers of an Association


14 Functions of an Association


An Association has the following functions:


(a) to oversee the carrying out of the business of providing public land transport services within its jurisdiction; and


(b) to ensure that owners and drivers of public land transport within its jurisdiction comply with the provisions of this Act; and


(c) to bring to the attention of the Authority any matters which they consider significant for the better carrying out of the business of public land transport service within the relevant jurisdiction; and


(d) to provide the Authority with any information which the Authority may request from the Association; and


(e) to perform such other functions as may be conferred on an Association by the Authority, or under this Act or any other Act.


15 Powers of an Association


An Association has the power to do all things that are necessary or convenient to be done for or in connection with the performance of its functions under this Act.


PART 4 PUBLIC LAND TRANSPORT DRIVER'S PERMIT


Division 1 General driver’s permit


16 General driver’s permit


(1) A person who intends to drive public land transport to transport the general public must apply to the relevant permit officer for a general driver’s permit.


(2) An application under subsection (1) is to be:


(a) made in the prescribed form; and


(b) accompanied by the relevant documents and certificates as prescribed by the Minister on the advice of the Authority; and


(c) accompanied with the fee prescribed by the Minister on the advice of the Authority.


(3) A person must not drive a public land transport to transport the general public with the intention of charging a fee unless:


(a) that person has been issued with a valid general driver’s permit under subsection 17(1); and


(b) that person is a citizen of Vanuatu.


(4) A person who contravenes subsection (3), commits an offence punishable, on conviction, by a fine not exceeding VT500,000.


17 Issuance and renewal of general driver’s permit


(1) A permit officer may issue or renew a general driver’s permit if he or she is satisfied that the applicant:


(a) has passed a test conducted by the Commissioner of Police or by persons authorised by the Commissioner; and


(b) is in possession of a medical certificate certifying the person as medically fit to drive a public land transport. The certificate must have been made not more than 6 months before the date of the said application; and


(c) has been in possession of a valid drivers licence for a period of not less than 1 year; and


(d) has not been convicted of any offence under the provisions of sections 12, 13 and 14 of the Road Traffic (Control) Act [CAP 29] within the previous 2 years from the date of the application; and


(e) has not been convicted of any traffic offences involving drunkenness or intoxication within the previous 2 years from the date of the application; and


(f) has not been convicted of the offence of sexual intercourse without consent; or


(g) is of or over the age of 21 years and under the age of 65 years; and


(h) has been certified by the Authority under subsection 21(3) to have met the prescribed standards; and


(i) is a member of an Association registered under subsection 11(1); and


(j) has paid the prescribed fee.


(2) A general driver’s permit must only be issued by the permit officer of the Authority.


(3) A person who contravenes subsection (2), commits an offence punishable on conviction, by a fine not exceeding VT 100,000.


18 Public land transport general driver permit training


(1) A person who intends to drive a public land transport vehicle for the purpose of transporting the general public must:


(a) undertake and successfully complete the public land transport drivers’ training offered by the Authority; and


(b) meet the standards prescribed by the Authority under subsection (2); and


(c) pay the fee prescribed by the Minister on the advice of the Authority.


(2) The Authority is to prescribe the public land transport standards that must be met by all public land transport vehicles and drivers transporting the general public for a fee, charge or reward.


(3) The Authority is to issue the person with the prescribed certificate, if he or she has met the prescribed standards under subsection (2).


(4) A person who has not met the prescribed standards under subsection (2):


(a) if the person is applying for a general driver’s permit for the first time – is not to be issued with a permit; or


(b) if the person is renewing his or her general driver’s permit – is not to be issued with a renewed general driver’s permit.


Division 2 – Tourist driver’s permit


19 Tourist driver’s permit
(1) A person who intends to drive public land transport to transport tourists must apply to the relevant permit officer for a tourist driver’s permit.


(2) An application under subsection (1) is to be:


(a) made in the prescribed form; and


(b) accompanied by the relevant documents and certificates as prescribed by the Minister on the advice of the Authority; and


(c) accompanied with a fee prescribed by the Minister on the advice of the Authority.


(3) A person must not drive a public land transport to transport tourists with the intention of charging a fee unless:


(a) that person has been issued with a valid tourist driver’s permit under section 20; and


(b) that person is a citizen of Vanuatu.


(4) A person who contravenes subsection (3), commits an offence punishable, on conviction, by a fine not exceeding VT500,000.


20 Issuance and renewal of tourist driver’s permit


(1) A permit officer may issue or renew a tourist driver’s permit if he or she is satisfied that the applicant:


(a) has satisfied paragraphs17(1) (a) to (g) and (i) to (j); and


(b) has been certified by the Authority under subsection 21(3) to have met the prescribed standards.


(2) A tourist driver’s permit must only be issued by the permit officer of the Authority.


(3) A person who contravenes subsection (2),commits an offence punishable on conviction, by a fine not exceeding VT 100,000.


21 Public land transport tourist driver’s permit training


(1) A person who intends to drive a public land transport vehicle for the purpose of transporting tourists must:


(a) undertake and successfully complete the Tourism Public Land Transport Service Training Programme offered by the Authority; and


(b) meet the standards prescribed by the Authority under subsection (2); and


(c) pay the fee prescribed by the Minister on the advice of the Authority.


(2) The Authority is to prescribe the standards that must be met by all public land transport vehicles and drivers transporting tourists for a fee, charge or reward.


(3) The Authority is to issue the person with a prescribed certificate, if he or she has met the prescribed standards under subsection (2).


(4) A person who has not met the prescribed standards under subsection (2):


(a) if he or she is applying for a tourist drivers permit for the first time - is not to be issued with a tourist driver’s permit; or


(b) if the person is renewing his or her tourist driver’s permit - is not to be issued with a renewed tourist driver’s permit.


Division 3 Other matters relating to general and tourist driver’s permit


22 Display and production of a driver’s permit


(1) A driver of a public land transport vehicle must display his or her driver’s relevant permit at a location in the vehicle where it is clearly visible to the passengers.


(2) A driver of a public land transport vehicle must produce his or her driver’s relevant permit on the request of a permit officer, police officer or a person authorised by the permit officer.


(3) A person who contravenes subsection (1), commits an offence punishable on conviction, by a fine not exceeding VT10,000.


(4) A person who fails to produce his or her driver’s relevant permit at the request of a permit officer, police officer or a person authorised by the permit officer, commits an offence punishable on conviction, by a fine not exceeding VT20,000.


23 Term and renewal of a general or tourist driver’s permit


(1) A general or tourist driver’s permit expires on the 31st of December each year.


(2) An application for the renewal of a driver’s permit must be made before the expiry date of the permit.


(3) A person who renews a permit after the permit expires is to pay a late renewal fine of VT5000.


24 Issuance of both a general driver’s permit and a tourist driver’s permit


To avoid doubt, a person may be issued with both a general driver’s permit and a tourist driver’s permit subject to meeting the requirements set out under this Act or any other Act.


PART 5 PUBLIC LAND TRANSPORT VEHICLE PERMIT


Division 1 Vehicle Permit


25 Vehicle permits


(1) A person must not permit his or her vehicle to be used as a public land transport unless that vehicle is issued with a valid vehicle permit under section 27.


(2) A person who contravenes subsection (1), commits an offence punishable on conviction, by a fine not exceeding VT100,000.


26 Power to limit issuance of permits


The Minister on the advice of the Authority, may from time to time by Order, limit the number of public land transport vehicle permits that may be issued by a permit officer.


27 Issuance of vehicle permits


(1) A person who intends to operate a vehicle as a public land transport is to apply in the prescribed form for a vehicle permit to the permit officer for the region in which the vehicle is to be driven.


(2) The permit officer for the region in which the vehicle is to be driven may only issue or renew the permit if he or she is satisfied:


(a) that the vehicle has been issued a certificate of roadworthiness; and


(b) that the vehicle is properly equipped for transporting, in comfort, the number of persons it is permitted to carry; and


(c) that the vehicle is constructed and equipped according to the standards set out in the Regulations; and


(d) the vehicle has a valid third party insurance cover; and


(e) in the case of a taxi, the taxi meter has been certified under subsection 32(3); and


(f) the owner has paid the prescribed fee.


(3) A vehicle permit is to be in the form prescribed by the Minister and is to specify the maximum number of passengers that may be transported in the vehicle.


28 Display and production of vehicle permit


(1) A driver of a public land transport vehicle must display the vehicle permit of the vehicle in which he or she is driving at a location in the vehicle where it is clearly visible to the passengers.


(2) A driver of a public land transport vehicle must produce the vehicle permit on the request of a permit officer, police officer or a person authorised by the permit officer.


(3) A person who contravenes subsection (1), commits an offence punishable on conviction, by a fine not exceeding VT10,000.


(4) A person who fails to produce his or her driver’s relevant permit at the request of a permit officer, police officer or a person authorised by the permit officer, commits an offence punishable, on conviction, by a fine not exceeding VT20,000.


29 Term and renewal of a vehicle permit


(1) A vehicle permit expires on the 31st of December of each year.


(2) The application for the renewal of a vehicle permit must be made before the expiry of the permit.


(3) A person who renews a vehicle permit after the permit expires is to pay a late renewal fine of VT5,000.


(4) If a vehicle is not used as a public land transport for over a period of 3 consecutive months, the vehicle permit is deemed to have expired and is to be surrendered by the owner of the vehicle to the permit officer.


(5) Subsection (4) does not apply if the permit officer has written confirmation from a garage that the vehicle is undergoing repair at that garage.


30 Transfer of vehicle permit


(1) A public land transport vehicle permit may only be transferred by the Authority.


(2) If an owner of a public land transport vehicle intends to sell that vehicle, he or she must surrender the vehicle permit to the permit officer.


(3) To avoid doubt, the Authority must compensate an owner of a public land transport under subsection (2) at a rate prescribed by the Minister on the advice of the Authority.


(4) A person who contravenes subsection (2), commits an offence punishable on conviction, by a fine not exceeding VT500,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months.


Division 2 Inspection and Register of public land transport


31 Inspection of public land transport vehicles


(1) A vehicle inspector must inspect a vehicle in respect of which an application for a vehicle permit or an application for a renewal of a vehicle permit is made.


(2) A vehicle inspector must not issue a road worthy certificate under this section unless:


(a) the vehicle has met the requirements set out under the Road Traffic (Control) Act [CAP 29] and its Regulations; and


(b) the vehicle has met the standards as prescribed under the Tourism Councils Act No. 23 of 2012; and


(c) the vehicle has met the standards as prescribed by the Minister on the advice of the Authority under paragraph 5(d) and subsection (5).


(3) A roadworthy certificate issued under subsection (2) must be in a form prescribed by the Minister.


(4) In addition to subsection (2), an officer of the Authority must be present at all land public transport vehicle inspection sites and must be satisfied that the vehicle is in a fit mechanical condition for transportation of all persons for a fee, charge or reward.


(5) The Minister on the advice of the Authority is to prescribe by Regulation, the inspection guidelines and vehicle specifications for each category of public land transport vehicle.


(6) For the purposes of this Part, unless a contrary intention appears:


vehicle inspector means the Director of the Department of Public works or any person authorised by the Director, to inspect any vehicle in respect of which an application for a vehicle permit or an application for renewal of a vehicle permit is made.


32 Inspection of taxi meter


(1) The Authority is to appoint a person to inspect taxi meters.


(2) If a vehicle submitted for inspection under section 31 is a taxi, the inspection must include an examination of the taxi meter.


(3) If the taxi meter inspector is satisfied that the taxi meter:


(a) is in a fit mechanical or electronic condition; and


(b) complies with the technical requirements as may be prescribed by the Minister under this Act,


he or she may issue a prescribed certificate to allow the use of the meter in the taxi.


33 Suppliers of taxi meters


(1) A vehicle that is permitted to operate as a taxi must be equipped with a taxi meter purchased from an approved supplier under subsection (2).


(2) The Authority must, by way of tender under the Government Contracts and Tenders Act [CAP 245], approve one sole supplier of taxi meter throughout Vanuatu.


(3) The Minister on the advice of the Authority must prescribe by Order, standards of taxi meters permitted to be used.


(4) A supplier approved under subsection (2), must provide taxi meters that meet the standards prescribed by the Minister under subsection (3).


(5) A person who contravenes subsection (1), commits an offence punishable on conviction, by a fine not exceeding VT500,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months.


34 Transfer of taxi meter


(1) A person must not sell or transfer or cause to be transferred to another person, a taxi meter without the prior approval of the permit officer.


(2) The application for the transfer of a taxi meter is to be made in the prescribed form.


(3) A person who contravenes subsection (1), commits an offence punishable on conviction, by a fine not exceeding VT500,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding than 6 months.


(4) A person other than an approved inspector who interferes with a taxi meter so as to prevent the proper operation of the taxi meter:


(a) if the person is the driver – to have his or her relevant driver’s permit cancelled; or


(b) if the person is the owner – to have the vehicle permit cancelled.


(5) A person whose permit is cancelled under subsection (4) may only apply for a new permit after a period of 1 year.


35 Public Land Transport Register


(1) The Chief Executive Officer is to keep a register to be known as the Public Land Transport Register. The Register may be kept wholly or partly by electronic means.


(2) The Register is to contain the following information:


(a) the details of all holders of permits issued under this Act; and


(b) the details of serial number of number plates; and


(c) the details of holders of permits that have been cancelled or suspended; and


(d) such other particulars as may be prescribed.


(3) The Chief Executive Officer must update the Register at least once a year and ensure that the Register is available for inspection at the office of the Authority by any person during the ordinary hours of business of that office.


(4) The Chief Executive Officer may supply a copy of the Register or a part of the Register to a person on payment of the prescribed fee.


PART 6 PUBLIC LAND TRANSPORT NUMBER PLATES


36 Display of vehicle number plate


(1) The owner of a public land transport must not allow his or her public land transport to be driven unless the following signs are displayed on the vehicle’s number plate:


(a) if the public land transport is a taxi – the letter T;


(b) if the public land transport is a service bus – the letter B;


(c) if the public land transport is a common transport – the letter CT;


(d) if the public land transport is a tour operator – the letter TO.


(2) The Minister on the advice of the Authority may by Order prescribe signs that must be used by other forms of public land transport.


(3) The Authority may, after complying with the tender process under the Government Contracts and Tenders Act [CAP 245], appoint a person to manufacture public land transport vehicle number plates.


(4) The Minister on the advice of the Authority is to prescribe by Order, the size, dimension, colour, serial number or any other matter to be affixed to the number plate of a public land transport vehicle.


(5) A person who contravenes subsection (1), commits an offence punishable on conviction, by a fine not exceeding VT500,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months.


(6) A person who manufactures a public land transport vehicle number plate in contravention of subsection (3), commits an offence punishable on conviction, by a fine not exceeding VT100,000.


(7) The owner of a public land transport must:


(a) register the existing number plate of the vehicle with the Authority within 6 months of the commencement of this Act; or


(b) only use a vehicle number plate issued by the Authority.


PART 7 IMPOUNDING VEHICLES AND DISCIPLINARY ACTIONS AND PROCEDURES


37 Power to impound vehicle


(1) A police officer or municipal warden or any other person authorised by the Authority may impound a public land transport vehicle on any of the following grounds:


(a) if the person driving the vehicle has no valid general or tourist driver’s permit; or


(b) if the vehicle has no public land transport vehicle permit; or


(c) if the vehicle does not have an approved number plate; or


(d) if the vehicle is not in a roadworthy condition; or


(e) if the vehicle is being driven in a manner which contravenes section 16 of the Road Traffic (Control) Act [CAP 29].


(2) A vehicle that is impounded may only be released only after the prescribed penalty fine has been paid.


(3) A person who owns a vehicle that has been detained and impounded under paragraph (1)(d), must not apply for a public land transport vehicle permit, in respect of that vehicle, for a period of 6 months commencing on the date on which the vehicle is released from being impounded.


(4) If a vehicle has been detained and impounded under paragraph (1)(e), a police officer is to seize the driver's public land transport driver's permit and the permit is deemed to be suspended from the moment of seizure until such time as determined by the Authority.


38 Actions that are subject to disciplinary procedure under this Act


(1) If the driver of a public land transport:


(a) assaults a driver of another public land transport; or


(b) assaults a passenger of a public land transport; or


(c) uses abusive language towards a driver or a passenger of another public land transport or a passenger of the public land transport which he or she is driving; or


(d) smokes in a public land transport or permits a passenger to smoke in a public land transport; or


(e) harasses or sexually harasses a passenger; or


(f) transports a person or persons for the purpose of committing a crime; or


(g) overcharges a passenger; or


(h) takes or receives money from a passenger and not providing the full service required for the amount of money received by him or her; or


(i) consumes or is under the influence of alcohol, kava, marijuana or any prohibited substance under the Dangerous Drugs Act [CAP 12] whilst transporting passengers or goods,


the driver may be disciplined by the Authority in accordance with the procedures set out in section 39.


(2) In addition to subsection (1), a driver of a public land transport vehicle is to be disciplined by the Authority in accordance with the procedures set out in section 39 if the driver refuses to transport any passenger unless:


(a) the passenger has insufficient funds to pay the fare; or


(b) in the case of a taxi - it is already engaged by another passenger; or


(c) the passenger’s conduct is offensive; or


(d) the passenger is under the influence of alcohol, kava, marijuana or any prohibited substance under the Dangerous Drugs Act [CAP 12]; or


(e) the vehicle already exceeds the required number of passengers it is licensed to transport.; or


(f) the road conditions for the passengers destination is not good.


39 Disciplinary procedure of the Authority


(1) A person may lodge a complaint with the Chief Executive Officer of the Authority against a driver of a public land transport who commits any of the actions set out in section 38.


(2) The Chief Executive Officer must provide the members of the Authority with a copy of the complaint within 7 days of receiving the complaint.


(3) The Authority is to consider the merits of the complaint and inform the complainant of its decision whether or not to hear the complaint within 14 days of receiving the complaint from the Chief Executive Officer.


(4) If the Authority decides not to hear and make a determination on a complaint, it must inform the complainant of its decision within 7 days of making that decision.


(5) If the Authority decides to hear and make a determination on a complaint, it must inform the complainant and the accused of such decision within 7 days of making that decision and provide the accused with 14 days notice to respond to allegations made against him or her in that complaint.


(6) The Authority in considering a complaint may require the complainant, the accused or witnesses to appear before it in any of its proceedings.


(7) The Authority after hearing and considering a complaint may either:


(a) cancel the driver’s permit and ban the driver from driving a public land transport if the driver:


(i) has been charged with sexual intercourse without consent; or


(ii) has been involved in a fatal accident resulting in serious injury or death to himself or herself or any passenger; or


(iii) has been accused of overcharging on multiple occasions; or


(iv) has assaulted a passenger or other person while transporting a passenger; or


(v) has been accused of driving under the influence of alcohol or any prohibited substances; or


(vi) is a second offender; or


(b) suspend the driver’s permit to drive a public land transport for a period not exceeding 6 months.


(8) To avoid doubt, a person who has had his or her driver’s permit cancelled under subparagraph (7)(a)(i), (iv) or (v) must have his or her driver’s permit reinstated if declared not guilty by court.


40 Conditions for permits after expiry of suspension of permit


(1) A driver whose permit has been suspended under paragraph39(7)(b) may apply for a new permit to drive a public land transport after the expiry of the period of suspension of his or her permit.


(2) If the Authority decides to issue a person applying under subsection (1) with a new permit, it may impose conditions on the permit.


(3) If a condition imposed by the Authority under subsection (2) is breached by the driver, the Authority is to cancel the permit and ban the person from driving a public land transport.


PART 8 MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS


41 Government’s obligation


The Government must ensure that the Administration of the Authority is fully funded to carry out its functions and powers under this Act or any other Act.


42 Funds of the Authority


The funds of the Authority consist of:


(a) funds appropriated by Parliament; and


(b) funds from any other source.


43 Revenue of the Authority


The payment of any penalty amount or any fee under this Act is to be made to the treasury section of the Department of Finance.


44 Regulations


(1) The Minister may by Order prescribe anything which is necessary or convenient to be prescribed for the better carrying out or giving effect to the provisions of this Act.


(2) Without limiting subsection (1), the Regulations may:


(a) prescribe matters necessary to regulate the use of a public land transport vehicle by persons with special disabilities, including old people; or


(b) provide for the registration of vehicles and issuance of certificates, plates or labels; or


(c) provide for the matters which have to be included in the tests to be carried out by the Police Commissioner under paragraph 17(1)(a); or


(d) provide for the payment of fees, outstanding fees , fines and penalties payable under this Act; or


(e) regulate the manner of driver’s and vehicle registrations; or


(f) provide for the registration of permits, certificates or number plates; or


(g) provide for the seizure and surrender of permits and number plates; or


(h) provide for the manner on which a vehicle is to be impounded; or


(i) prescribe matters necessary to regulate breath tests or breath analysis; or


(j) prescribe fees required to be paid or levied under this Act or the regulations; or


(k) set out the documents and records that are to be kept in respect of drivers or vehicles; or


(l) provide for the registration of vehicles and the issue of certificates, number plates and labels including the payment of any outstanding fees or penalties payable under this Act; or


(m) for the purposes of controlling traffic congestion, prescribe the routes to be taken by a type of public land transport; or


(n) set a time limit for which a type of public land transport can operate; or


(o) set categories within each type of public land transport and each category’s time or place of operation; or


(p) limit or discontinue the issuance of driver’s permits or vehicle permits; or


(q) declare a place for the parking of a particular class of public land transport; or


(r) establish standards of etiquette and clothing to be worn by drivers of public land transports.


45 Penalty notices


(1) A permit officer may serve a penalty notice on a person if it appears to him or her that the person has committed an offence under this Act or the regulations and the offence is one that is stated by the regulations to be an offence to which this section applies.


(2) A penalty notice is a notice to the effect that, if the person served does not wish to have the matter determined by a court, the person may pay within a time and to a person specified in the notice, the amount of penalty stated in the penalty notice.


(3) A penalty notice may be served personally or by post.


(4) If the amount of penalty prescribed for the purposes of this section for an alleged offence is paid under this section, no person is liable to any further proceedings for the alleged offence.


(5) Payment under this section is not to be regarded as an admission of liability for the purpose of, nor in any way affect or prejudice, any civil proceeding arising out of the same occurrence.


(6) The Regulations may:


(a) prescribe an offence for the purposes of this section by specifying the offence or by referring to the provision creating the offence; and


(b) prescribe the amount of penalty payable for the offence if dealt with under this section; and


(c) prescribe different amounts of penalties for different offences or classes of offences.


(7) The amount of a penalty prescribed under this section for an offence must not exceed the maximum amount of penalty prescribed in this Act.


(8) This section does not limit the operation of any other provision of or made under this Act or any other Act relating to proceedings that may be taken in respect of offences.


46 Repeal


(1) The Taxis Act [CAP 49] is repealed.


(2) Any Rule or Regulation made under the Taxis Act [CAP 49] is repealed.


47 Transfer of funds, assets, liabilities and contractual obligations


(1) The funds, assets, liabilities and contractual obligations of a Land Transport Board immediately before the commencement of this Act, are transferred upon the commencement of this Act, to the Public Land Transport Authority.


(2) Any act or thing done in the name of a Land Transport Board immediately before the commencement of this Act is taken to have been done in the name of the Public Land Transport Authority.


48 Transitional provision
(1) The person who occupied the position of the Secretary of the Municipality of Port Vila and Efate Provincial Government Region Land Transport Board immediately before the commencement of this Act, is to continue as the Chief Executive Officer of the Authority on the same terms and conditions of employment with the same accrued or accruing entitlements


(2) Despite the provisions of Parts 4 and 5 of this Act, a valid public vehicle driver’s permit and a valid public vehicle licence issued to any person under the Taxis Act [CAP 49] before the commencement of this Act which has not expired yet, continues to have effect as if issued under this Act.


(3) To avoid doubt, a person must comply with the procedures set out under Parts 4 and 5 in obtaining the relevant permit once the permit and licence referred to in subsection (2) expires.


49 Commencement


This Act commences on the day on which it is published in the Gazette.


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