MPs pass park tour vehicles law for second time
Guided tour legislation returned to the House of Assembly yesterday after stalling in the Senate last year over fears that national parks could be harmed.
The Motor Car (Liveries) Amendment Act 2022, brought by transport minister Lawrence Scott, again faced concerns from the Opposition over its potential environmental impact.
Mr Scott insisted the Act would preserve the environment while creating jobs for entrepreneurs and attractions for visitors.
Susan Jackson, the shadow transport minister, told MPs there needed to be “a broad look at what could be” in expanding the scope of vehicles to be used in guided tours, and what effect they could have on the island’s natural environment.
Jamahl Simmons of the Progressive Labour Party accused the Opposition of failing to read the legislation properly before objecting.
He said the Act was intended to expand the types of vehicles to be used on a guided tour, introduce a penalty for operating a guided tour vehicle without a licence, and change references to “tour quadricycles” in the law to “guided tour vehicle”.
The legislation was unchanged after returning from the Upper House, he noted.
Mr Simmons said the delay meant “a year wasted” for three- and four-wheeled vehicle operators to provide tours.
He emphasised the vehicles were “not off-road vehicles, and can only operate on paved surfaces like roads” – and would not be able to intrude on protected areas.
“If one year ago, the Opposition failed to read the legislation, failed to understand the legislation or perhaps mistakenly misrepresented the intent of this Bill, then they owe all of Bermuda an apology,” Mr Simmons said.
The debate closed with the legislation getting passed.