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The Secretary for Transport is also the Superintendent of Motor Traffic under the Motor Traffic Act. The DOT is responsible for policy development and overall regulation of transport and traffic on the national road network, including the licensing and associated regulatory enforcement of vehicle construction and use, driver and operator licensing, and transport services licensing (freight and passenger transport services carried out for hire or reward).

 

The DOT Land Transport Division (LTD) includes a Road Transport Industry Branch and a Road Safety Branch. The former branch services the National Land Transport Board, which licenses freight and public transport, regulates and inspects motor car dealers and motor vehicle testing stations, and is responsible for regional offices in Lae, Mt Hagen and Rabaul, while the latter branch has responsibility for enforcement of inspection of motor vehicles for compliance with vehicle construction and use safety regulations, and driver, public motor vehicle and freight licenses, and vehicle registration. LTD provides technical advice and administrative services to the NLTB in addition to its other functions.

The National Land Transport Board Act (1968) gives the NLTB the power to direct DOT to issue transport services licenses. The NLTB comprises the secretaries for transport, trade and industry, the Attorney General and six non-government appointees, and considers licence applications at national level and within NCD. The power to issue transport services licences at provincial level has been delegated to Provincial Land Transport Boards where these have been established and are operational. Provincial licenses include within-province route and service licences for freight transport, as well as provincially-based PMVs and taxis.

Some of LTD’s functions have been assumed by the National Road Safety Council (NRSC), in particular the analysis of Police traffic accident reports and road safety matters in general. Enforcement weighing of vehicles by authorised weighing officers, either the Traffic Police or LTD Traffic Inspectors, has not been carried out for some years due to budget constraints. The Western Highlands Provincial Government has recently purchased a set of portable weighing scales and intends to commence weight enforcement in the area. The NRA has installed two weighbridges on the Highlands Highway on the outskirts of Lae but does not have the power to do weight enforcement. Arrangements are being made for Morobe Provincial Government traffic inspectors to assist NRA with this activity.

While the Provincial LTB in Lae is responsible for deciding on urban PMV routes, the responsibility for this in NCD lies with LTD and NLTB although close collaboration is clearly required with NCDC.

The Policy Research Division (PRD) within DOT is responsible for the analysis and development of transport sector policy across all modes of transport and also acts as a coordinating agency for annual national budget submissions by the transport sector agencies. PRD is responsible for the preparation of the National Transport Strategy.

The Planning and Coordination Division (PCD) of DOT monitors the expenditure and delivery of programmes financed under the national budget, the activities of the transport agencies in general, and provides assistance to provincial governments in developing their provincial transport plans. Provincial liaison is conducted through the Department of Provincial and Local Government Affairs (DPLGA), specifically through the Provincial and Local Level Government Service Monitoring Authority (PLLSMA).

The National Road Safety Council was established under its own act in 1997 although only became operational in the last six years. It is self-funding from a levy on 3rd Party Motor Vehicle Insurance, collected by Motor Vehicle Insurance Ltd (MVIL). The NRSC Board legally consists of the secretaries of Transport, Works, Finance and Planning, Health, Education, Provincial and Local Government Affairs, Lands and Physical Planning, and the Commissioner for Police, the Executive Director of the NRSC and six appointees to represent NCD, the Motor Vehicle Insurance Trust (now MVIL), Chamber of Commerce, the National Broadcasting Corporation, the University of Papua New Guinea, and the University of Technology, or their nominees.