Heads Will Roll, Warns Minister
Police Director of Traffic links racket to poor driving standards among young drivers
Parveen Kumar has warned “heads will roll” in the alleged driving licence scam. The Minister for Transport said he was concerned about a Fiji Sun report on alleged corrupt practices of some driving school instructors and a Land Transport Authority examiner.
At the same time, Director of Traffic Senior Superintendent of Police Mahesh Mishra, has linked the alleged scam to the poor standard of driving among young people. He said it was a serious concern to them and he called on the relevant authorities to conduct an in-depth investigation. Mr Kumar said investigations
would definitely be conducted. He said if there was someone or some people in LTA involved in this, heads would roll. He said no one would be spared. “However I cannot comment further until I have received the report from the chairman (Mr Maharaj),” he said. In a survey conducted at random, the Fiji Sun has uncovered an alleged scam where an LTA examiner told our newspaper employee that he was prepared to accept $550 in cash to give the employee a full driving licence (Group 2) without sitting a Defensive Driving Course.
Five driving school instructors, who were also interviewed at random, told the employee that licence would be given whether the employee passed or failed the test, claiming they had connections at LTA. SSP Mishra said: “It is a major concern for the Police force. There has been an increase in traffic offences and fatal accidents committed by the young drivers including provisional licence holders.”
He stated that Fiji was currently recording the highest number of bookings and offences made by young drivers in Fiji. He said they were concerned about the poor driving skills and bad attitude of young drivers. “They are not being tested in the right manner and procedure,” SSP Mishra said.
The traffic statistics show a total of 358 different types of offences and errors committed by drivers between the age of 16 and 25 in 2013, while 266 offences were committed in 2014. LTA Board chair, lawyer Vijay Maharaj, said he had asked his authorities to provide the number of driving school permit holders for further investigations. “This is a serious matter and we are investigating further to stop the public from getting into bribery and corruption as the alleged instructors and examiners are dealing with money secretly,” Mr Maharaj said.
This is a serious matter and we are investigating further to stop public from getting into bribery and corruption as the alleged instructors and examiner are dealing with money secretly
LTA Board chair