The Minister of Works, Transport and Infrastructure, Papali’i Niko Lee Hang, has hinted at a government plan to install parking meters in the Apia Township – and other popular public places.
The move comes after a recommendation to add another $40 to license fees for commercial and government vehicles was rejected by the Parliamentary Finance Committee.
Minister Papali’i told Parliament he does not support the recommendation as well. But he said they are considering other options. And that includes parking meters.
“I can say that the L.T.A [Land Transport Authority] is looking at installing parking meters in the town area and public places. This will somewhat alleviate the overcrowding of public parking spaces,” Papali’i said.
Another issue Papali’i pointed to was the lack of cohesion between Police Traffic officers and L.T.A’s Traffic officers.
“In conducting their duty in monitoring minor traffic offenses where the instant fines citations are issued, it’s clear under the law for L.T.A that they collect revenues from the fines, not the Police.
“The Police are supposed to issue citations but the fines collected goes to the L.T.A.”
Back to the proposal to increase the cost of commercial license by $40, the deputy Chair of the Parliamentary Finance Committee, Faumuina Tiatia Liuga said the idea is to pay for parking spaces.
“This is for every vehicle including [commercial and government] vehicles added upon registration or licensing fees. Yet these parking have already been paid by the public.”
As for the issues between L.T.A and the Police, Faumuina said the L.T.A is fairly new compared to the Traffic Police Officers.
“The Committee is looking at the fact that Police officers are being paid under government budget and yet the government is not getting any revenue from them in terms of traffic citations,” Faumuina said.
“The problem is that this law needs to be updated as it’s outdated.”
Faumuina said there is a need to “connect” the Police Act and the L.T.A Act to ensure the two don’t clash.
“L.T.A is a trading body, they operate like a business and they are also taking revenues collected by the Police. It’s good but the same time, there is a need to connect these two acts.
The deputy Chairman agrees that it’s quite obvious the L.T.A and the Police are not working together.
“The Police are the ones who investigate serious offenses or car accidents but the fines collected from these serious offenses go to the Ministry of Justice.
“There is a need for the Ministry of Police and L.T.A to meet and allocate what is what, so they can work together. The concern is that it’s evident the Police are not issuing citations of minor offenses.
“This is because these fines is collected by the L.T.A, and this is a wrong mindset. We need to correct this attitude because the revenue collection will end up in the government’s purse.”