PUBLIC SERVICE VEHICLES
—(1) The classification and descriptions of public service vehicles for the purpose of this Act shall be as set out in the Second Schedule.
(2) The Authority may by order published in the Gazette, add to, amend or vary the Second Schedule.
(3) The Authority may, by rules made under section 111, subdivide any class of public service vehicles as set out in the Second Schedule, and any reference in this Act to a class of public service vehicles shall include a reference to any subdivision of such class.
—(1) Subject to the provisions of this Part, no person shall use a motor vehicle, or cause or permit a motor vehicle to be used, as a public service vehicle unless there is in force, in respect of the vehicle, a valid licence issued under this Part authorising such use, or otherwise than in accordance with the licence and any conditions attached thereto.
(2) Any person who contravenes subsection (1) shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $3,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or to both.
(3) A person shall not be convicted of an offence under this section if he proves to the satisfaction of the court that he used the motor vehicle, the subject of the charge, as a public service vehicle in an emergency for the purpose of conveying a sick or injured person to hospital or to bring medical aid to such person or for the purpose of making a report to a police station and that he had made all reasonable efforts to hire a public service vehicle for the purpose of the journey.
(4) A public service vehicle licence shall be in addition to any other licence issued under this Act.
(5) Any motor vehicle in respect of which there has been, or there is reasonable cause to suspect that there has been, committed any offence under this section may be seized by any police officer or the Registrar or any officer authorised in writing in that behalf by the Registrar.
(6) When any motor vehicle has been seized under subsection (5), a police officer or the Registrar or an officer authorised in writing in that behalf by the Registrar —
may, in his discretion, temporarily return the motor vehicle to its owner on security being furnished to the satisfaction of the police officer, the Registrar or officer so authorised, as the case may be, that the motor vehicle shall be surrendered to him on demand; or
shall, upon the direction of the Public Prosecutor, and after making such investigations as are necessary for the purposes of this Act, return the motor vehicle to its owner.
(7) Where it is proved to the satisfaction of a court before which the prosecution has been held that a motor vehicle seized under subsection (5) has been used in the commission of an offence under this section, the court shall, on the written application of the Public Prosecutor, make an order for the forfeiture of the motor vehicle, notwithstanding that no person may have been convicted of an offence.
(8) If there be no prosecution with regard to any motor vehicle seized under subsection (5), that vehicle shall be released at the expiration of one month from the date of seizure unless it has sooner been released.
(9) A police officer may arrest without warrant any person who has committed or whom he reasonably suspects to have committed an offence under this section.
—(1) The Registrar may, on application made to him in the prescribed manner and on payment of the prescribed fee and subject to such rules as may be prescribed, issue public service vehicle licences.
(2) The Registrar shall not issue a public service vehicle licence to any person who is a minor or in respect of any vehicle which does not comply with such conditions as to construction, fitness and equipment or otherwise as may be prescribed.
103. The Authority may from time to time prescribe the maximum number of public service vehicles of any class which may be licensed and the Registrar shall not issue licences in excess of the number so prescribed.
—(1) Every public service vehicle licensed under this Part shall have permanently affixed thereto such plate or plates and such other markings for the purpose of identifying such vehicle as a public service vehicle as may be prescribed.
(2) On the expiry, suspension or revocation of any public service vehicle licence, the licence together with all plates or other markings issued in connection therewith shall be returned to the Registrar within 10 days after the expiry, suspension or revocation.
(3) Any person who omits to return any such licence, plate or other marking shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $500.
(4) Any person displaying any plate or marking referred to in subsection (1), or any plate or marking falsely purporting to have been issued under this Part, on any vehicle in respect of which the appropriate public service vehicle licence is not in force shall be guilty of an offence.
—(1) The owner, driver or conductor of a public service vehicle shall be entitled to demand and take such rates of hire or fares as the Minister may prescribe.
(2) Except as otherwise provided, the prescription of such rates of hire or fares shall not prevent an owner, driver or conductor from entering into a contract to receive a lower rate of hire or fare than that prescribed.
(3) If any dispute arises as to a rate or fare calculated according to distance, the dispute may be referred to the Registrar or to the officer in charge of any police station whose decision shall be final, and any certificate issued by the Registrar or the police officer with regard thereto shall be admissible in evidence.
(4) The owner, driver or conductor of a public service vehicle who demands or takes or attempts to take any money in excess of such rates or fares shall be guilty of an offence.
(5) Any person who refuses to pay the owner, driver or conductor, as the case may be, the prescribed rate of hire or the prescribed fare when lawfully demanded shall be guilty of an offence.
(6) This section shall not apply to omnibuses and taxis.
—(1) The owner of a public service vehicle shall, unless he satisfies the court that he took every reasonable precaution to avoid the commission thereof, be responsible for all offences committed under this Act in connection with the use of the vehicle and may, in the discretion of the Registrar, be prosecuted for such offence either in addition to or instead of the driver or conductor, as the case may be.
(2) When the driver or conductor of any public service vehicle is reasonably believed to be guilty of an offence under this Act, the owner of the vehicle and any other person who was or should have been in charge of the vehicle at or about the relevant time shall give to the Registrar or to any police officer such information as the Registrar or such police officer may require of him concerning the identity and address of the person believed to be guilty of the offence.
(3) If any person fails to do so within 7 days of the date on which the information was required of him under subsection (2), unless he shows to the satisfaction of the court that he did not know and could not with reasonable diligence have ascertained the information required, he shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $100.
(4) Notwithstanding anything in any other written law, any information given under subsection (2) by any person charged with any offence under this Act may be used as evidence at the hearing of the charge.
108. The Registrar may at any time suspend or revoke a public service vehicle licence if —
owing to any defects in the vehicle in respect of which the licence is issued, the vehicle is or is likely to become unfit for service;
having regard to the conduct of the holder of the licence or to the manner in which the vehicle is being used, it appears to the Registrar that the licence should be suspended or revoked;
in the case of a public service vehicle licence issued in respect of a taxi, the holder of the licence —
has attained the age of 63 years;
holds more than one public service vehicle licence issued in respect of a taxi; or
has ceased to carry on his vocation as a taxi-driver; or
the licensee has contravened any of the provisions of this Act.
109. The Authority may provide, appoint and regulate the use of such public stands for any class of public service vehicle as it may think fit, and on the application of or with the consent of the owner of any private property may regulate the use of public stands provided on such private property.
—(1) No person shall —
drive or act as a conductor of a public service vehicle on a road unless he holds a vocational licence granted by the Registrar under this Part for such purposes; or
employ or permit any person who is not so licensed to drive or act as a conductor of a public service vehicle while it is being used for the carriage of passengers for hire or reward on a road.
(2) The Registrar may, on application made to him in the prescribed manner and on payment of the prescribed fee and subject to such rules as may be prescribed, grant vocational licences.
(2A) The Registrar shall not grant a vocational licence unless he is satisfied that the applicant for the licence is of the minimum age as prescribed for that class of public service vehicle and fulfils such other conditions as may be prescribed.
(3) A vocational licence to drive a public service vehicle may be limited to such class of vehicle as may be specified in the licence.
(4) A vocational licence may at any time be suspended or revoked by the Registrar upon the ground that, by reason of his conduct or physical disability, the holder is not a fit and proper person to hold such a licence.
(5) Where the Registrar refuses to grant or suspends or revokes a vocational licence, the applicant or licence holder, as the case may be, may appeal to the Minister, and on such appeal, the Minister, after such inquiry, if any, as he may consider necessary, may make such order as he thinks fit, and any order so made shall be binding on the Registrar and on the appellant.
(6) If any person acts in contravention of subsection (1), he shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $500 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 months or to both.