Mass arrest of overloading bus drivers

The regular buses at the Fugalei market depot

The regular buses at the Fugalei market depot

By Lagi Keresoma

APIA: FRIDAY 5 APRIL 2013: A clamp down on overloading saw a dozen bus drivers taken into custody by Police yesterday.

The drivers spent their morning yesterday at Police headquarters for carrying passengers over the permitted limit.

In confirming the arrests Assistant Commissioner of Police, Fauono Talalelei Tapu, more were expected.

Most of the arrests were made on the western side of Upolu during the morning rush hour.

“This is the busiest time of the day and people want to be at their work and school on time,” said Assistant Commissioner Fauono.

Bus drivers want to help and stop to pick up passengers past the allowed number, he said.

But neglect of the law put passengers’ lives at risk, he said.

A bus may only carry 34 passengers.

Bus drivers caught overloading have ignored repeated warnings not to do so.

Police and Land Transport Authority have stepped up patrols to put a stop to overloading in the busy times in the mornings and evenings.

Drivers who offend are no longer told to go to Police headquarters after a trip, but are arrested on the spot.

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