$35k fine a concern for trader

A police officer directs the traffic jam along Queens road near Lami town during a truck (on right) broke down near Lami Village in Lami yesterday. Picture: RAMA

A police officer directs the traffic jam along Queens road near Lami town during a truck (on right) broke down near Lami Village in Lami. Picture: RAMA/FILE

EXORBITANT fines issued to motorists for overloading trucks should be reviewed because many cannot afford it.

This was a concern raised by the Macuata Forest Trust that was recently slapped with a fine of $35,000 for overloading.

A company rep told Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama at the talanoa session in Seaqaqa, Macuata that this fine was too high for them to pay considering they had a business to run.

The company rep asked for Government’s intervention and whether this issue could be addressed.

Land Transport Authority Labasa branch manager Emosi Caniogo said the fine was applied to the company after his team recorded excessive weight with the logging truck.

He said they were only doing their job and applied the fine as stipulated by the law.

In his response, Mr Bainimarama said he understood that the LTA officials would need to carry out their work including the penalities on companies for overloading issues.

But while he understood the role of LTA, he also considered the plight of such companies in facing such high amount of fine.

He asked Mr Caniogo to discuss the issue with the company.

Road condition in the area was also highlighted. Villagers told Mr Bainimarama that the road condition in Vunivutu and Naseva areas had affected transportation for the students, elderly and the sick.

Mr Bainimarama said the Fiji Roads Authority would attend to this issue.

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