- Combined administrative services for bus service
- To amend the Vehicles Ordinance
- To create separate three-wheeler parks
By Dayaseeli Liyanage
Eight people die per day due to road accidents and therefore with a view to minimizing road accidents and traffic congestion, a letter including a suggestion to discourage the import of motorbikes and three-wheelers and many other suggestions to be implemented with regard to all the vehicles has been forwarded to the acting Inspector General of Police by the President of the Lanka Private Bus Owners’ Association Gemunu Wijeratne.
Gemunu Wijeratne said that this report was forwarded to the acting IGP based on instructions given during a discussion with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
In that letter, under the title, ‘Strengthening Public Transport Service’, suggestions has been given to bring the private and public bus service’s under combined administrative services and a combined timetable and to assign one place to prepare timetables for the whole country (NTC). According to Supreme Court Case No. 89/2007, the SLTB and Provincial Road Passenger Transport Authorities should be brought under that unit.
Another suggestion has been given to create infrastructure for private bus service (bus halts and lavatory facilities). It has also been suggested to restructure bus routes and to implement services such as Gemi Seriya, Sisu Seriya and Nisi Seriya in a positive manner. Implementing electronic technology, travel cards, GPS in bus and railway service, introducing luxury bus service in Colombo and suburbs, and using bus priority lanes for that service and implementing night service are some other suggestions given under ‘Strengthening Public Transport Service’.
It has also been suggested to amend the Vehicles Ordinance to prevent sound pollution and begging and trading in buses, to change penalties and to improve standards. Another suggestion includes the cancelling of passes given to travel free of charge in buses. The letter also suggests to make the occupation of private bus workers permanent and thereby aid their families, withdrawal of luxury and semi-luxury bus service and to provide food and sanitary facilities to long distance passengers.
In addition, with regard to three-wheelers, it has been suggested to limit them to main roads and make necessary laws regarding three-wheelers under Provincial Road Passenger Transport Authorities. It has also been suggested to create separate three-wheeler parks and to remove three-wheelers parked on main roads and bus halts and to remove modifications made on three-wheelers.
With regard to school buses and vans, laws should be made under Provincial Road Passenger Transport Authorities and halts nearby schools should be restructured, the letter says.
The letter also suggests that taxis should be registered under Provincial Road Passenger Transport Authorities and to implement transparent price regulations. With regard to containers and lorries to be hired, container drivers should be employed throughout the night and parking facilities for these vehicles should be provided, the letter suggests.
Under the common suggestions given under, ‘Repairing of the Road System and Restructuring of roads’, it has been suggested to discourage the import of motorbikes and three-wheelers, to affirm incidents breaking the traffic rules using CCTV, to amend the Penal Code for pedestrians and to fix signal posts and speed limits on both sides of the road.
Obtaining ransom at bus halts has been shown as an issue which is mostly required to be solved. Health condition and food habits of drivers and conductors are also need to be looked into. Bus drivers and conductors refraining from driving under the influence of drugs has also been pointed out as an issue in the letter.
It has also been suggested to appoint knowledgeable people for transport regulation institutes. The letter says that due to inefficiency in public transport service, road accidents and environmental pollution, the country loses 1.25 billion Rupees.