Stakeholder consultations will be part of the exercise to formulate legislation regarding PH taxi drivers, says Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi.
He confirmed this yesterday following comments by some taxi drivers on expected law regarding the PH sector.
Guardian Media had submitted to him queries on the projected legislation – from when it will be done, to how different the criteria will be for PH drivers as opposed to H car drivers.
Moves towards legislation are being made after Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley called on the Works Ministry to come up with ways to regulate that sector. This followed the recent murder of Barataria teen Ashanti Riley who had been seen taking a PH taxi.
A driver now in custody is also under probe for the alleged rape of another teen. Since the incident, the northern block of Independence Square, Port-of-Spain has been free of PH taxis which usually line up there seeking St James passengers.
Al-Rawi said yesterday, “This (PH regulation) matter isn’t intended to be done without public consultation. From the commentary I’ve seen from maxi taxis, those concerns are the evidence of the fact we need such consultations. This will ultimately provide very fair, careful structure.”
But he said there is no position on the matter yet. The Works Ministry has the lead on it and will be the entity which will take the matter to Cabinet.
Works Minister Rohan Sinanan who said he was in a meeting didn’t immediately respond to queries.
Al-Rawi said his office is engaged in work that will be related to structuring of the issue.
“We’re in talks with Works currently, pulling together the necessary data and structures.”
“Obviously, the data is critical. We’ve made headway and will be operating on this in due course, but it’ll be premature to comment at this point.”
He said only when Cabinet decides his Ministry would be able to advise on the way ahead.
Al-Rawi said the Works Ministry had won the President’s Award for the U-turn system and a multi-sector team involving people from the Judiciary, Licensing and Traffic had worked on this. Government will have the benefit of such as team on the PH sector issue.
“All things being equal, I personally would want to bring this to the table as a matter of urgency. It ties in with the management of the roads and operationalisation of the radio frequency (RF) licence plates. Legislation for this has already been passed. We have the structures in place, a digitised Licensing Division, red light and spot speed cameras, and the demerit point system. All of this is rooted in amendments to the criminal justice sector.”