A new man? - Transport sector leader begs cabbies not to strike

December 05, 2022
Egeton Newman
Egeton Newman

Three weeks after leading a strike that left much of the commuting public grounded, Egeton Newman is now beseeching his colleagues not to take any action that could lead to further chaos in the fragile transport sector.

Newman, head of the Transport Operators Development Sustainable Services (TODSS), is urging operators to delay any industrial action until the Andrew-Holness led provides a response to its request for a payment plan for operators to settle outstanding traffic tickets.

"We urge our members not to engage in any protest. We are urging all transport operators to go to work. People are depending on you, it's Christmas now, people want to go up and down, and we ought to carry them," Newman said.

Under new road traffic regulations, traffic offenders with unpaid tickets risk having their driver's licence suspended.

Stung by the possibility of losing their livelihoods, transport operators recently went on strike to demand a traffic ticket amnesty from the Government. However, the Holness-led administration said none will be granted.

Newman said that his organisation held talks with Transport Minister Audley Shaw, and are hopeful that their request for a payment plan will be favourably considered.

"The payment plan [proposal] was taken to Cabinet and we are waiting for a response. It has been 17 days and we expect to speak to the Minister of Transport, and we believe that Tuesday we will hear something definite from Cabinet because the prime minster has put a committee in place and, that committee is working the way forward on a payment plan for us," Newman claimed.

Last Thursday, Justice Minister Delroy Chuck urged motorists with outstanding traffic tickets to pay them or face consequences.

"The traffic violators will shortly find out that their licence can't be renewed, or their vehicles can't be licensed and warrants will be issued," said Chuck.

The minister said that there are more than one million unpaid tickets for which cases will be pursued, adding that there are more than 2,000 drivers with over 100 unpaid tickets each. He said that persons who are seeking payment plans for unpaid traffic tickets should "go and talk to the judge".

Newman, however, scoffed at Chuck's comment, saying the minister has a tendency to "speak out of turn sometimes".

"We are working with Minister Audley Shaw. I think several times Minister Chuck create anarchy and he is the one creating anarchy right now in the public transport sector. We are not relying on what Minister Chuck says," Newman told THE STAR.

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