Vehicle Census to get underway this Sunday

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 13, No. 28            July 24, 2003

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Taxi re-registration will take place this Sunday

Taxi re-registration will take place this Sunday

    As a first step in the solution to the traffic challenges on the island, a moratorium on the import of all NEW vehicles is in effect, as of July 20th. The second step in this process is a vehicle census, which will begin this Sunday, July 27th and will continue throughout the month of August or until all vehicles currently operating on the island are registered.

    The Ambergris Caye Traffic Control Committee (ACTCC) in conjunction with the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) and the Ambergris Caye Chamber of Commerce (ACCC) urge all vehicle owners to comply with the re-registration of vehicles. Every vehicle that uses the roads MUST be registered, including vehicles with engines or not, and also trailers.

   All shipping companies are hereby notified that any vehicles arriving on the island will be confiscated unless there is written authorization from both the San Pedro Mayoress and the ACTCC Chairman.

    Re-registration of all types of vehicles will take place on Sundays at The Boatyard between the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The schedule is subject to change but is currently planned as follows:  July 27th - Taxi cabs; August 3rd - Heavy-duty vehicles, Heavy-duty and Light equipment; August 10th - no re-registration due to Costa Maya Festival; August 17th - Medium & Light-duty vehicles, both private and commercial; August 24th  - Rental golf carts; August 31st - Privately-owned golf carts, ATVs and motorcycles.

    Vehicle owners are asked to bring ownership documents or any papers they may have in their possession that will verify or establish ownership. Blank forms are available for pre-filing or may be obtained by E-mail at [email protected]

    San Pedro Mayoress Elsa Paz assures those re-registering vehicles, that an amnesty period has been declared during re-registration. She also confirmed that no fines or penalties would be issued during the census and that registrants would not be checked for permits or insurance. Insurance companies will be on hand during re-registration to encourage compliance with this  registration requirement.

     As reported, at the time of registration, traffic and transport personnel as well as volunteers will be on hand to record registration data and direct registrants to the "Stamp Official." This person will review the form, register a tag number, and then attach a "03" census sticker to the vehicle license plate. Vehicle owners that have missing, rusted or damaged plates are offered the opportunity to purchase two aluminum plates at a cost of $30 for both (front and rear plates are required). Vehicle owners with no plates will be directed to the Transport Office to apply for new or replacement plates. A Mobile Staff team will register non-movable vehicles and trailers at a cost of $20 per vehicle.

    Vehicle owners are warned that as of September 1st, enforcement of the traffic laws regarding registration will commence. At that time, all vehicles without census stickers will be ticketed, and directed to the Transport Office for Census Registration and payment of their fine.

    According to ACTCC Chairman Milo Paz Jr., plans are that after November 1st, all vehicles without census stickers may be impounded. Any vehicle released will be subject to a $100 towing fee, a $10 per day storage fee, and all appropriate licensing and registration requirements.After December 1st, all vehicles without census stickers may be forfeited by law, and removed from the island. Mr. Paz stated that all vehicle owners are being notified, with the possible exception of off-island owners, by way of radio talk shows, and television and newspaper notices.

    Plans are that annual vehicle registration take place starting January 1st, with all fees payable by April 30th. At that time, an official "Title Permit" will be issued for each qualifying vehicle, in the name of the owner, and a new color "04" sticker will be placed on the plate. As of May 1, 2004, vehicles without this new sticker will be subject to impoundment and related fees. After six months, any impounded vehicle may be sold at public auction, with the proceeds applied to the storage fee, and/or removed from the island.

    Through this medium, the ACTCC Chairman announces that effective immediately, all applications for the importation of new or replacement vehicles will incur a fee of $25BZ whether or not they are approved. These funds will be used to pay traffic wardens to inspect barges for illegal vehicles, after normal working hours. Also, after applications are received, traffic wardens will now conduct physical inspections to see that applicants meet all requirements, before their application is presented to the committee.

    For more information, contact the Transport Office at 226-2046 or the ACTCC at 226-2196.
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