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Sunday, 25 October 2015

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Qualified by the public

Bus van drivers to obtain Passenger Passport Qualification for their driving licence:

A Passenger Passport Qualification will be a necessary qualification to get new driving licences. For those handling public transport in the Western Province. The new qualification is being mooted by the Motor Traffic Department in a bid to curb road traffic accidents and also to discipline drivers. The driving licence is to be issued to public transport drivers from next year.

The Motor Traffic Commissioner, A.H.K. Jagath, said the new driving licence is being introduced to promote public safety and the security by regulating drivers.

He described the new licence as an additional transport qualification, and claimed many drivers did not have the dexterity to handle public transport.

"As a first, special driving licence will be issued to public transport drivers of the Western Province. The special driving licence will be issued to all CTB buses, private buses, public school buses, private school buses and three wheelers. It will be implemented from January 1, 2016 to ensure the safety and security of the public," he said.

New drivers who wish to obtain their driving licences must have driven for three years to obtain the new public transport driving licence. A system that will add marks to driving licence, for every traffic rule violation will introduce soon.

Seat belt for three-wheelers

DIG Traffic, Amarasiri Senaratne, said a request had already been made from all three-wheel manufacturers to install a new belt for the rear seat of all three-wheelers to ensure that no child will be thrown out from fast moving three-wheelers in the future. "Fifty two percent of the total number of accident are caused by motorcycle riders and 18 percent are caused by three-wheeler drivers. A total of 2442 accidents have been reported by August 31 this year," he said.

Chairman, All Island School Children's Transport Association, L. Malsiri de Silva, said the association had made it compulsory for all school vans and buses to have a yellow school service name board, which is placed in the front of the vehicle.

This is a must for all school service vehicles for identification and to ensure the safety of children. He said that some time ago a decision was made to colour all school passenger vehicles in yellow but this was impossible as a huge budget was needed.

"The special school van licence which was introduced by the National Child Protection Association is not in practice anymore but now the new driving licence, which will be implemented next year for school vans is a good decision made by the Motor Traffic Commission," he said.

The Commissioner said the Association will collaborate with the National Health Service and Eye Hospital to organize a program to distribute spectacles for school service drivers. This program is titled 'vision 2020'. According to government regulations, under the Child Protection Act of Sri Lanka, the Association had upgraded their service value by registering their vehicles with the Child Protection Authority.

"We began a new registration with the Child Protection Authority along with the respective police stations, for drivers to get a clearance certificate in 2011. meanwhile, together with City Traffic Unit, the All Island School Children Transport Association organized a program to issue stickers to school vans. This program ensured a in progress where the safety of school children were concerned. "We need to hold discussions with the chairperson of the western province transport authority. The objective of these discussions is to develop the private school transport service," he said.

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