The LTA will also be issuing Traffic Infringement Notices to bus drivers and bus companies from today for carrying excess passengers in buses as per PSV Regulation.
E-Ticketing inspection will also be carried out at the same time and passengers E-Tickets will be checked to ensure compliance with the regulation.
Overloaded buses threaten road safety and are contributing to many of the fatal accidents on Fiji roads. The overloaded bus will not only put the driver at risk but also passengers and other road users.
Overloading a bus will pose the following risks:
- The bus will be less stable, difficult to steer and take longer to stop. Vehicles react differently when the maximum weights which they are designed to carry are exceeded.
- Overloaded buses can cause the tyres to overheat and wear rapidly which increases the chance of premature, dangerous and expensive failure or blow-outs.
- The driver’s control and operating space in the overloaded bus are diminished, escalating the danger of an accident.
- The overloaded bus cannot accelerate as normal – making it difficult to overtake
- At night, the headlights of an overloaded bus will tilt up, blinding oncoming drivers to possible debris or obstructions on the roadway
- Brakes have to work harder due to ‘the riding of brakes’ and because the bus is heavier due to overloading. Brakes overheat and lose their effectiveness to stop the bus.
- With overloading, seat belts (where fitted) are often not used as the aim is to pack in as many persons as possible into the bus
- The whole suspension system comes under stress and, over time, the weakest point will give way.
- By overloading your bus, you will incur higher maintenance costs to the vehicle – tyres, brakes, shock absorbers and higher fuel consumption
- Insurance cover on overloaded vehicles may be void as overloading is illegal
LTA enforcement officers will be checking for overloaded buses and will issue Traffic Infringement Notices to Drivers and the Vehicle Owners resulting in significant financial penalties for both.