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Ample time given for weight restriction compliance

June 13, 2019 4:49 pm
The launching of the crushing season at the Lautoka Mill

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has given the deadline for cane farmers and lorry drivers to comply with the weight restrictions of 16.5 tonnes.

While speaking at the launch of the crushing season at the Lautoka Mill today, Bainimarama says cane carters were given an extra two years to adapt to the restrictions by progressively implementing load requirements.

Load limits were clearly articulated over the past three years however, the Sugar Minister gave farmers and drivers another two years to adapt to the new procedures.

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Bainimarama says this is done because for years – overweight trucks grinding up and down roads have been destroying our national infrastructure.

“If you are found breaking the law by overloading, I’m sorry to tell you that you will be fined. That also goes to any trucker carrying overloaded hauls of gravel, logs or other goods throughout Fiji. That is the law.”

Bainimarama says this crushing season, the maximum weight for any six-wheeler truck is 16.5 tonnes, next year that will drop to 15.5 tonnes and after that, the FRA and the LTA regulatory rules will apply, as it does for trucks in other sectors.

“Following these rules is extremely important, because – for years – overweight trucks grinding up and down our roads have been destroying our national infrastructure. It’s because of that law-breaking behavior that we see potholes flaring up on our roadways like a bad case of the pox, swallowing tires, triggering accidents and bending axles.”

The Prime Minister also says that there are some lorry drivers in Vanua Levu who don’t want to adhere to these load restrictions, even with the ample notice and the exemptions given.

He says these lorry drivers must recognize that the roads are a tax-payer funded resource and they must be respected as such.

Bainimarama says that those in the industry should not allow politicians to pull strings and lead them into rash action.

He adds they need to see the bigger picture and adhere to the laws designed to protect the interests of all Fijians.

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