Police officers checking a passenger bus recently.
PHILIPSBURG–The Ministry of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunication (TEATT) Inspection Department and the Prosecutor’s Office (OM) plan to intensify their cooperation in addressing the most common economic and passenger transport violations.
It has come to the attention of the TEATT inspectors and the OM that owners of passenger transport services are operating without the required licence.
According to a statement from the OM on Thursday, technical requirements that serve the interests of passenger safety are not always met. The inspectors have also noticed taxi and bus drivers hindering traffic when stopping to pick up passengers, sometimes even at roundabouts.
When operating a business, the establishment needs to have a business licence. Such a license is personal and not transferrable. The TEATT inspectors and the OM have noticed that many business owners do not adhere to these requirements. Illegal vending is also increasing.
Together with the Inspection Department, the OM has developed a fine-book for the most common economic and passenger traffic violations. TEATT Inspectors will increase their inspections in the coming weeks to ensure the legal requirements are being met.
The fines are for first-time offenders only. The OM will demand higher fines, confiscation or shut-down of a business for repeat offenders.
“St. Maarten is a beautiful place for those who live here and those who choose to visit us. Unwanted soliciting, businesses without licences or passenger traffic operators that don’t respect the rules do not contribute to a positive experience. Therefore, we will increase our efforts to make sure everyone abides by the rules,” according to the OM.
The extraordinary police officers at TEATT will be equipped with a fine-book that allows them to issue a fine on behalf of the OM. Paying the fine is an alternative to going before the judge in court.