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RTA launches Bougainville-wide road safety campaign in partnership with ABG

A team from the Road Traffic Authority (RTA) is currently in Bougainville to roll out a region-wide awareness campaign starting this month in an effort to improve road safety in Bougainville.

This arrangement falls under a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) that was signed between the Road Traffic Authority and the ABG Department of Commerce, Trade, Industry and Economic Development.

According the MoA, the RTA unit will be established under the Directorate of State Owned Enterprises in the ABG Department of Commerce, Trade, Industry and Economic Development.

ABG Secretary for Commerce Alex Kerangpuna said under this arrangement, the ABG will have the authority to exercise certain functions of the Road Transport Authority including vehicle registration, drivers licensing, transport licensing, enforcement of road traffic laws and road safety.

“This is part of the drawdown of powers to the ABG. It is important because we need to ensure that the vehicles on the roads are safe and at the same time these functions will help us generate revenue for the government,” he said.

Secretary Kerangpuna further explained that as part of the process of the transfer of functions, ABG also has the opportunity now to establish its third party motor vehicle insurer. 

“This power is not given to other provinces, but given our special situation as an autonomous government, we are now given this power under the MoA so the ABG can establish a third party motor vehicle insurance company. Currently, this is now with MVIL, but that is now part of the mandate that is being given to ABG.” 

“We want to inform the public that there will be ongoing awareness by this team in partnership with ABG agencies including Department of Technical Services, Department of Treasury & Finance, Bougainville Police Service, Urban Councils and Community Governments.”

The awareness campaign will be conducted in North, Central and South Bougainville with a grace period of three months given to the public before the RTA team begins enforcement under the National Road Authority Act.

Secretary Kerangpuna says this arrangement will also assist in capacity building and training for the appointed ABG traffic officers, while policy development will be progressed by his Department for Bougainville to have its own road traffic legislation.

Speaking at the launch, representative of the RTA, Douglas Kendi says this arrangement under the MoA has now paved the way for all functions for public transport, PMVs, taxis, hire cars, car dealers etc. will come under the Autonomous Bougainville Government now.  

“The purpose of us being here now is to go out first and educate the public. We will start of here now in North, then Central and south. We will inform the public that the grace period will expire on the 1st of April and they must comply.”

“The road transport industry is regulated by law. If you don’t have the appropriate license yet, you come to ABG Commerce and you apply for the right licenses.”

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