Seat belt, texting-while-driving laws proposed, overseas travellers can drive without Tongan driver license

Public consultation has started on the Government’s proposed changes and laws to the traffic and land transport requirements.

Two Bills required all passengers wear seat belts while riding in the front seat, and making it an offense if drivers found texting and looking at their phone while operating a motor vehicle.

The Bills included one that would ban heavily tinted front window vehicles to operate on the road.

Although the seat belt Bills would not cover the back seats, it would be an offense if Police found somebody leaning or hanging out of the windows of a moving vehicles, according to the new Bills.

New Zealand, Australia and the United States driver license holders will be allowed to drive in Tonga without a Tongan driver license if they have a current and valid overseas license or driver permit, one of the Bills said.

It has been revealed the Ministry of Infrastructure is expected to install traffic lights for the first time.

The Bills also included one that will see heavy trucks being restricted from certain roads in Central Nuku’alofa.

Lawmakers also wanted control over road maintenance and upkeeps moved from the Ministry of Land and Survey to the Ministry of Infrastructure.

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