LTA and Police clash over ‘instant fine’ tickets reach Parliament

LTA traffic officers who issue instant fine tickets of up to $200

By Lagi Keresoma

APIA: WEDNESDAY 18 JUNE 2014: The clash between the Land Transport Authority (LTA) and the Ministry of Police Traffic division over “instant fine” tickets had reached Parliament.

Several MP’s raised concern over the continuing feud between the two Government offices.

Member of Parliament (MP) for Falealili and former Executive Officer for LTA, Tusa Misi Tuala raised the matter during his speech in Parliament yesterday.

Tusa said there had been several instances where LTA officials issued instant fine tickets to traffic offender’s, but police would not prosecute or charge the driver when they failed to pay the fine in due time.

He emphasized to Parliament that police had “no intention of charging anyone on tickets issued by LTA.”

Tusa is concern that the longer LTA and Police continue to hold grudges against each other, the more incidents will occur on the road.

“People know the police are not charging anyone on traffic offences anymore so they would do whatever they feel like on the road,” said Tusa.

“LTA and Police needs to work together,” he said.

Aana Alofi No. 01 MP Leaupepe Toleafoa Fa’afisi supported Tusa on the issue.

He said the Ministry’s involved should find a remedy for the problem before it gets out of hand.

“This is not healthy both for the public and vehicle owners,” he said

Individual MP Maualaivao Pat Ah Him emphasized the need for clarification on who has the sole authority of issuing such tickets.

There seemed to be confusion on who is issuing what ticket said MP for Anoama’a East Alo Fulifuli Taveuveu.

The questioned raised was “why are both LTA and Police issuing the same tickets if responsibility was transferred to LTA?”

Issuing fines used to be the sole responsibility of the Ministry of Police.

However, Government reforms a few years back saw the establishment of LTA as an independent entity now charged with building roads and issuing and collecting traffic fines.

A senior traffic officer with the Ministry of Police told Talamua that LTA and Police issue the same instant fine tickets.

LTA however orders the tickets from Australia and have refused to give police their share of tickets.

The Minister for Police has yet to take the floor to respond to the MP’s queries.