A passenger gets off from an LTA-registered Public Service Vehicle in Itumuta, Rotuma. Photo : RUPETI VAFOU’OU/ROTUMA.
The country’s land transport regulator, LTA (Land Transport Authority) continues to extend and improve its services to the islands in the maritime zone.
“It is a very expensive exercise for someone living in the islands to bring his or her vehicle to Suva for checks when they are due and that is why LTA continues to take its services to the islands,” said LTA CEO, Carmine Piantedosi.
Three LTA officers are required to visit a designated island in the maritime zone every three months, which means four trips each year, the most recent being to Lakeba in the Lau group.
“On the recent visit to Lakeba, our staff carried out vehicle checks, conducted driving tests and renewed driver licenses. We take people that are multi-skilled so they’re able to inspect vehicles and at the same time conduct driving tests and issue cards,” added Mr Piantedosi.
“The licence renewals and new driver licenses are printed on the spot, using the portable card machine, once the customer settles the required fee and/or passes the required test. What used to take up to three weeks to process is now an instant transaction for our island-based drivers and vehicle owners,” he said.
Previously, the visiting LTA officer would bring the license renewal or new driver license application back to Suva; process it, then the new card would be sent back to the customer.
Post offices also act as agencies on behalf of LTA, at Levuka on Ovalau; Nasau, Koro; Qarani, Gau; Ahau, Rotuma; Lomaloma, Vanuabalavu; Tarukua, Cicia; Lakeba, Tubou, and at Vunisea in Kadavu.
As of 12 June 2017, LTA has registered a total 164 vehicles in Gau, Koro, Lakeba, Vanuabalavu, Cicia, Rotuma, and Levuka, with the highest number recorded in Levuka at 87, and the lowest, one, in Cicia. Ninety-two provisional licenses and 171 full licenses were also issued in the maritime zone.
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