CCPC and RTSA Collaborates in Raising Awareness in the Public Transport Sector
The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC), has collaborated with the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA), in its campaign which is aimed at sensitizing the bus operators against unfair trading practices in the public transport sector.
CCPC Executive Director, Mr. Chilufya Sampa has stated that the Commission has expressed concern over the influx of complaints relating to unfair trading practices against consumers by bus operators operating on the Inter-City routes.
Mr. Sampa said the Commission has noted that most bus operators are in the habit of using ghost passengers who masquerade as ordinary commuters with the aim to deceive and attract unsuspecting commuters to acquire their services.
CCPC notes that most bus operators have continued to exploit commuters through the issuing of receipts with disclaimers which limit their liability for any loss or damage of luggage belonging to the commuters despite the commuters having paid for the carriage of the luggage.
To this effect, CCPC in its ongoing campaign has joined efforts with RTSA, to sensitise the commuters on their rights as they transact with various bus operators and also to make bus operators aware of their responsibilities towards the commuters. The campaign also seeks to caution bus operators on the repercussion of them engaging in any conduct which misleads commuters.
Meanwhile Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) Chief executive Officer and Director, Mr. Gladwell Banda has bemoaned the growing trend passenger harassing passengers by call-boys.
Mr. Banda said it was against the Road Traffic Act No.11 of 2002 for a Public Service Vehicle (PSV) driver to attract the attention of a possible passenger, in a troublesome manner.
“Section 116 of the Road Traffic Act No. 11 0f 2002 states that no owner, driver or conductor acting on behalf of the owner or driver or conductor of a public service vehicle authorised to carry passengers shall make any loud noise or sound any instrument in order to attract the attention of the public or of a possible passenger, or by troublesome or frequent demands or by persistent following hold out the vehicle for hire to the public, or attempt to induce any person to become a passenger therein in such manner as to constitute a nuisance, or act in any way so as to cause annoyance or inconvenience to any person,” Mr. Banda stated.
Mr. Banda said the RTSA would work in collaboration with CCPC in restoring sanity in bus stations and guarantee passenger safety to the traveling public.
He said the partnership between the two institutions would be strengthened especially during the festive period when members of the public travel to various destinations.
Mr. Banda implored passengers and the traveling public to report any form or harassment, bad, careless and dangerous driving to the RTSA.
Therefore CCPC in collaboration with RTSA will be commencing airing of both radio and TV adverts country wide which highlight the unfair conducts engaged in by bus operators.
Through these adverts, CCPC and RTSA hope to enhance the awareness levels of commuters about their rights and responsibilities and to promote compliance by bus operators of the laws relating to unfair trading practices as provided for under the Competition Consumer Protection (CCPA) Act No.24 of 2010.
In this regard, the Commission wishes to take this opportunity to caution all bus operators who maybe engaging in such unfair trading practices to stop as such conduct is punishable under the CCPA Act.
Commuters are also advised to report all unfair trading practices to the nearest CCPC or RTSA offices located in all provincial centres across the country or call CCPC and RTSA toll free lines on 5678 and 983 respectively across all networks from 08:00 to 17:00hrs Monday to Friday.