HIS Majesty King Tupou VI has given His royal assent to the Traffic and Road Act 2020. Both Acts will come into force as of October 1st, 2020.
The Prime Minister Hon. Pohiva Tu’i’onetoa confirmed this in Parliament on Monday.
It is now compulsory for drivers and front seat passengers to wear seatbelts except for children under 12.
The maximum penalty for not wearing seat belts is a fine of up to TOP$500.
Using a mobile phone while driving is now an offence under the new Act.
Drivers who put children on their lap while driving will also be charged.
Returning Tongans residing overseas can now use their overseas driver’s license and will not be required to have a temporary driver’s license.
The Road Act 2020 will also be enforced starting next month, which aims to cover building, maintenance, and protection of public roads as Government asset. It prescribes the standards for road design and construction standards.
All roadwork or uses of roads must apply for a permit. Offenders operating without a permit is liable to a $100,000 fine. One of conditions of the permit is that they must repair the road after to the Ministry’s standards.