Dangerous railings in Msida

Dangerious railings in Msida, the Opposition leader's political naiveté, and business owners losing their licenses over penalty point system 

New anti-pedestrian railings installed at the bottom of Rue D’Argens in Msida
New anti-pedestrian railings installed at the bottom of Rue D’Argens in Msida

New anti-pedestrian railings installed at the bottom of Rue D’Argens in Msida have local cycling lobby group worried. Being on a blind bend these are extremely dangerous.

In other countries cyclists who hug the kerb, have been known to have become trapped between the railings and long or heavy vehicles, including buses. The group are advising their members to ‘take the lane’ as a precautionary measure, keeping clear of the railings. They have also asked TM for a solution. Basically, it’s just a poor unsafe design, the group said.

Jim Wightman, Bicycle Advocacy Group


PN leader’s political naiveté

Dr Adrian Delia’s political naiveté is mind-boggling! I am not sure if certain statements which he makes are his own creation. Or whether they are fed to him by someone who secretly wishes the leader of the Opposition to keep making a fool of himself, thus making it easier to get rid of him in the foreseeable future, which could be after the 2019 MEPs and local council elections result.

I’ll just give one of his latest “gems” in an already impressive collection. Speaking during the parliamentary debate on the VGH contract, Dr Adrian Delia said that the Government was “paying €2,600 per day for the Gozo-Malta helicopter service, even on days when the helicopter service” – which is intended for use to bring over to Malta any Gozitan patients in an emergency in the shortest time possible – “is not made use of”.

So, I assume, Dr Delia as prime minister, would only be ready to pay for the days when the service is used, as if the company does not have to pay the pilots , technicians etc... even for the days when the service is not used ! Which company would be ready to accept what Adrian Delia would want?

Let me give Adrian Delia a very simple example, perhaps he would understand what a stupid argument he has made. Each one of us who own and drive a car, pay an annual insurance to ensure that if unfortunately we have an accident, the insurance will cover the costs. but we all hope that we may never need to resort to our insurance.

Let us say that the cost of the insurance is €365 per year. Which means that if we do not have any car accident throughout the year, or over five years, we would have paid €1 a day, €365 a year. Or €1,825 over five years, and “got nothing in return” as Adrian Delia has argued!

Just as we, car owners, get peace of mind in return for paying car insurance in case we have a car accident, similarly Gozitans are having peace of mind (in case they may need urgent transfer to Mater Dei hospital) by having a government that is ready to pay for an air-ambulance helicopter to be always available, since accidents and illness can happen at any time!

Eddy Privitera, Mosta


Business owners losing their licence over penalty point system

The penalty point system has turned out to be yet another piece of blinkered legislation that places a disproportionate burden on business owners in the most unjust manner. The rash law has unfortunately generated more than a few teething problems and, as GRTU had warned, led to serious consequences.

Since the introduction of the penalty point system, GRTU has been in discussions with the relevant authorities and respective ministries to try and tackle the various issues the system is causing to our members. Two months down the line, progress achieved has so far been minimal and the authorities appear to be taking the issue lightly while people are losing their license for contraventions they did not commit.

Those who own a considerable amount of vehicles or have registered company vehicles under their name as natural persons are being held liable for breaches they did not make and receiving driving licence revocation letters for contraventions incurred by third parties.

Business owners have been placed in a position where they have to prove their innocence for contraventions they did not incur. This includes submission of hundreds of declaration forms and agreements every year, a heavy bureaucratic exercise, and having to convince third parties to admit and take on the responsibility of the penalty points on their name, something that can even result in having to take legal action if the party refuses to own up. To add insult to injury, the fact that points are being directed to vehicle owners when the vehicles are not stopped, goes against the spirit of the law that clearly states that the penalty points may only be invoked on the driver and not the owner of the vehicle.
   The ministers responsible have publicly guaranteed that penalty points will only be incurred when the vehicle is stopped, with the only exception being speed cameras, yet GRTU can confirm that this is entirely not the case on the ground.The most recent case of an owner losing his licence is due to the lowest speed violation, failure to comply with a directional sign and failure to comply with a stop sign. All of these contraventions were not made by the enterprise owner, in all instances the vehicle was not stopped as required and the owner has received notice that his licence is being revoked. This is not the only case GRTU is aware of.

GRTU has always insisted that the necessary infrastructure had to be properly in place before the system is implemented in order to cater for employers. GRTU therefore urges the relevant authorities to address these shortcomings without any further delay. GRTU also urges its members to bring to its attention any similar cases.

GRTU will be meeting both TM and LESA officials this week in a final attempt to iron our issues amicably.

Andrew Aquilina, GRTU