Cops on high alert for 'robot' taxis

Thursday, August 24, 2017

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COMMANDING officer of the Jamaica Constabulary Force Highway and Traffic Division, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Calvin Allen, says the police are remaining on high alert for illegal taxi operators as the nation gears up for the start of the new school year when it is expected that commuter volumes will increase significantly.

He said the police will not only be keeping “robots” in check, but will be clamping down on lawlessness in major town centres such as the Half-Way-Tree area, as activities such as illegal vending is a major contributor to disorder in such areas.

Since January, the police have seized almost 6,000 motor vehicles, the majority of which are illegal operators.

“We remain focused in that zone as it is an area which we want to see become far better than it is. It's not just a policing thing, because some of the licences that have been given, I believe,... need to be reviewed. Because if Half-Way-Tree is really the centre of gravity, as it relates to the capital, then there is a lot that needs to be done to bring it up to that sort of an international standard as a place that we can all respect. There is a lot of illegal vending taking place and some other things that need to be addressed,” SSP Allen said.

In the meantime, the senior superintendent said the police are pleased with the progress of work being carried out on the widening of Marcus Garvey Drive, given the anticipated heavy traffic flows that are expected when schools reopen next month.

“We are really happy with where Marcus Garvey [Drive] is and we have our various strategies to treat with the heavy flow of traffic,” he said.

— Alphea Saunders

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