By Omar Bah
The General Transport Union has urged the government to consider extending the validity of driver’s licences from one year to three years.
In a statement shared with The Standard, the drivers body stated: “Section 27(3) of the Motor Traffic Act provides as follows: ‘A driver’s licence other than a provisional driver’s licence shall, unless previously revoked or surrendered, remain in force for a period of three years from the date on which it’s issued’.
“It is clear from the above that the law requires that a driver’s licence should be valid for a period of three years from the date of issue. The current practice, however, is that driver’s licences are issued for a period of one year and they all expire on the 31st of December regardless of the date on which they were issued,” the union said.
This, the union added, is contrary to the provision of the law upon which all licences should be issued.
“Further research has been conducted in a bid to understand the basis for which the practice of one-year licensing came into being. It is baffling to note that after rigorous consultations with the Ministry of Justice, Ministry for the Interior, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Transport, and Gambia Police Force, as key actors and players; no laws, regulations, policies, statutes, or administrative directives could be traced to explain the basis for the current practice.
“The leadership of the General Transport Union is vigorously consulting with relevant authorities to ensure redress and compliance with the law in the soonest possible time. The executive of the General Transport Union is taking this opportunity to remind the government of its sacred duty of upholding the law and ensuring its organs operate within the confines of the laws,” the union added.
The union assured the public it will follow up on the matter to ensure compliance with the law.