Photo Credit: BVI Platinum News
Amidst the long-standing issue of lack of proper parking space, especially in the capital Road Town, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) licensed a total of 15,044 vehicles in the Territory last year, while 848 new driver's licenses were issued.
In its 2011 annual report submitted to the House of Assembly, the DMV stated that out of 15,044 vehicles licensed, 12,921 were on Tortola, 127 on Anegada, 106 on Jost Van Dyke and 1,890 on Virgin Gorda. The figures covered both new and renewals.
The department noted that since 2007, there has been a steady increase in the total number of vehicles licensed in the BVI. However, there was a slight decline from 2010 to 2011 where in 2010 there were 15,432 vehicles licensed.
According to the report, the department continued its efforts to retrieve the one percent of the temporary license plates that were still with the public. It stated that there were still a number of illegal plates on the road and in most cases they are made from hard plastic. Further, since the introduction and purchase of the new license plates for the House of Assembly Members, not all members of the House have collected their plates.
Meanwhile, the department issued a total of 5,569 driver's licenses during last year compared to 6,515 in 2010. Out of the figure there were a total of 848 new driver's licenses with 686 on Tortola which included Jost Van Dyke and Anegada and 162 were issued on Virgin Gorda.
In relation to renewals there were 4,721 with 3,974 on Tortola including Jost Van Dyke and Anegada and 747 on Virgin Gorda. There were also 70 temporary driver's licenses issued last year with 68 on Tortola and two on Virgin Gorda.
According to the report, since the amendment to the Road Traffic Act that was passed in 2006, the total number of temporary drivers´ licenses issued is steadily decreasing.
$1.7M Revenue Collection
The department total revenue collection for last year was $1,725,655.00 which is a slight decrease compared to 2010 where the department collected $1,789,033.00. The recurrent expenditure for last year was $857,879.61.
According to the report, its major achievements last year included the computerization of all the written tests, namely driver´s license, taxi livery, including a Spanish driver's license test; and amendments were made to the Road Traffic Act in the areas of driver licensing and taxi operations.
One of the challenges the department continues to face is database.
Lorna Christopher, Commissioner of Motor Vehicles stated that in 2011, a number of changes took place to further enhance the operations of the DMV including their successful move to the R & R Malone Complex at Pockwood Pond.
"Those changes included the hiring of additional staff to provide expediency and accuracy in processing driver's licenses, drivers´ testing and pre-screening of documents, and several amendments to the Road Traffic Act and Regulations," she said.
Christopher said she is pleased to report that the move to Pockwood Pond has been met with much satisfaction and positive feedback from the customers, who can now conduct their business in a spacious and comfortable environment, with ample parking spaces, and staff members who are committed to the customers and the industry.
"However, as commissioner, I do realize the need for improvement in performing our duties in such a demanding industry. Therefore, it is the goal of the DMV to continue to improve customer service and fulfill its commitment to provide quality service to the public," Christopher stated.