Brief History of the RTA

The Government published the National Transport Strategy (NTS) and Medium Term Transport Plan 2014-2018 in July 2013. Work underpinning this Strategy and Plan indicated that that road transport in PNG suffered from inefficient and fragmented regulation and enforcement. To address these issues, the NTS recommended: (i) reforms in legislation, administration, and enforcement; (ii) establishment of a Road Traffic Authority (RTA) by combining the functions of the Land Transport Division (LTD) of the Department of Transport (DOT), the Land Transport Board (LTB) and the National Road Safety Council (NRSC); and (iii) sustainable financing for the RTA.

The Road Traffic Act 2014 was passed by the National Parliament and made fully effective on 5 September 2014. The Act establishes the RTA with a Board, a Chief Executive Officer and staff, and sources of financing. The Act also sets the framework for land transport regulation including detail to be included in Regulations and Rules made under the Act. An amendment to the Road Traffic Act was made effective in February 2017. Updated Rules and Regulations are ready for implementation awaiting development of RTA administrative capacity.

The RTA Board was sworn in on 29 January 2016. All permanent staff of the NRSC were transferred to the RTA upon the Road Traffic Act becoming effective, and some LTD staff have been transferred since then.

The RTA is working to become fully operational as soon as possible. Lack of establishment funding has made this a slow process.

All the functions of the LTB and the NRSC and the land transport regulatory functions of the DOT, including those of the Superintendent of Motor Traffic under existing legislation are being carried out by the RTA pending implementation of the new Rules and Regulations.