11 Sep 2009

Samoa gives bus owners three weeks to switch doors

1:37 pm on 11 September 2009

Samoa's Prime Minister has given non compliant bus operators a three-week grace period to ensure their buses' doors are on the left hand side.

This follows the switch to driving on the left at the start of this week.

Bus owners, who want government financial assistance to make structural changes to their buses, including moving the steering column, met Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi today.

They also wanted temporary licences to operate in the interim, but the Prime Minister says in the interest of public safety

they can't operate at all until the door is changed.

He says the government is giving them three weeks to make the changes and the owners will not lose their licences.

"During which they should build that damn door, only one lousy door to be on the right side. It's just a matter of closing the existing door and get a welder to cut the door on the other side and then bingo you have the door."

Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi says for owners who make the change Government will help with costs, provide access to special bank loans, and exempt them from paying licence fees for a year.