Owners or drivers of motor hearses cannot present themselves “under any circumstance” to offer their service in government or private hospitals or in government departments. They are also precluded from prowling for potential clients on the sites of fatal accidents.
Such behaviour is banned by the Malta Transport Authority’s new code of ethics for drivers and owners of motor hearses, which makes it clear that such unethical behaviour must be “avoided under any circumstances out of respect for people suffering from the loss of their beloved.”
The aim of the code is to ensure that this category “understands that they are providing a delicate service and not just a means of transport”.
Reports of motor hearses owners prowling hospitals in search of new clients, sometimes in collusion with hospital staff, have tarnished the reputation of this category.
Anyone apprehended ignoring the ban is liable to pay a €115 fine – the highest monetary fine contemplated by the new code.
The code also expects motor hearse drivers to wear a uniform consisting of a black suit in winter and a grey suit in summer. They are also required to wear a white shirt and a black tie all year round. A Lm5 fine is even envisioned for those who do not wear their tie properly.
ADT is also currently considering a revision of tariffs which have remained frozen since 1983. These tariffs range from a minimum €8.74 for short distances to a maximum of €12.23 for longer voyages.
Technically operators are breaking the law by charging higher tariffs since these tariffs are established by law. But an ADT spokesperson told MaltaToday “these tariffs are both inadequate in today’s context, and are neither observed nor enforced.”
“This is a situation that the Authority, together with responsible ministry intends to rectify,” an ADT spokesperson told MaltaToday.