Crackdown on overloaded vehicles


28-April-2005

In an exercise that started last month, police and environment officials have been stationed at different points across Mahe to detect violators, who either transport improperly secured construction materials like aggregate or simply toss common rubbish onto the roadside from moving vehicles.

Officials have keyed on the Providence area, which is believed to be the most frequent site of debris and littering due to the amount of industry there and also because it’s a favoured lunch spot.

Other primary and secondary roads are being targeted as well, as the Solid Waste and Cleaning Agency (Swac) has reported a general increase in roadside litter since the start of the year.

So far two people have been fined for overloading vehicles and a number have been cautioned, according to acting Swac director Cliff Gonsalves. About 150 vehicles have been stopped on random checks, which police are also using to inspect registration and licensing.

But perhaps more important, Mr Gonsalves said, is that there has been a marked decrease in the amount of waste on the highway in the first few weeks of the campaign.

When the exercises are carried out, “we get results,” he said, indicating that Swac had an interest to “continually maintain” the programme.

While inspectors on site are keeping an eye on the trucks relied on by industry, Mr Gonsalves said most culprits have been private individuals and not companies.

And even apart from construction materials, litter thrown from passing vehicles has been a top priority. People who have lunch in their vehicles around the Roche Caiman area are being advised to deposit their empty lunchboxes in bins, at the risk of a R200 fine, the same fixed penalty for unsecured cargo.

Unpaid fines can end up in court – Swac says one case is being processed because of an unpaid fixed penalty from 2004.

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