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Hare assumes ITA helm

Coloured lights remain a problem

BY BRIAN BONITTO
Associate Editor —
Auto & Entertainment
bonittob@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, January 08, 2021

NEWLY installed director of the Island Traffic Authority (ITA) Kenute Hare said he is urging drivers to ensure that their vehicles do not violate road safety standards and are fit to be on the roads.

The ITA director said several vehicles islandwide had their licence plates removed during the Yuletide season.

“In December [2020], we conducted three joint road-safety, spot-check operations with the police. We removed quite a number of plates off motor vehicles that were defective, like bad tyres, tyres showing wires; they have a lot of play in their steering wheels; their front ends were defective; multi-coloured lights; as well as no licences and no insurance,” Hare told the Jamaica Observer's weekly Auto magazine yesterday.

“They use night-time to drive their vehicles without proper documentation and papers... We continue to do our road spot operations in the day, but a lot of crashes occur in the night. So, we are guided by the data coming out of the Road Safety Unit and use it to guide how we do our operations,” he continued.

According to data supplied by Hare, on December 18, 391 tickets being issued for traffic violations and 149 vehicles had their licences plates removed --- of which 110 were for multi-coloured lights.

On December 22, 405 tickets were issued and 133 plates were removed; 20 of which were for multi-coloured lights.

On December 30, a total of 424 tickets were issued and 165 plates were removed. Twenty-eight were for the decorative lights.

“We want people to make sure their vehicles are in good condition and remove the multi-coloured lights from them. We don't want to remove them; we rather they are not there. But if they're there, we are going to remove them. It's $13,800 fine at the tax office if we remove your licence plates. Don't put these lights on in the first place, because if we catch you with those red, pink, blue, purple lights on the vehicles, we are going to move the plate. We would rather you keep that $13,800 and buy some ice cream for your children. Do the right thing,” he urged.

The new director was quick to point out that ITA does not collect money and all payment should be made at the tax offices.

Hare said the joint police/ITA spot checks would also be coming down hard on motorcycle drivers who have substituted their mufflers for noisy ones.

“We have been getting a lot of complaints about those noisy mufflers. I'm urging the operators of these motorcycles to put the silencers back on the vehicles. Don't let us have the law enforced on you. Do the right thing,” he said.

Hare, who assumed the position of ITA director in November 2020, is the former director of the Road Safety Unit. He succeeds Ludlow Powell as ITA director.

The Island Traffic Authority administers the provisions of the Road Traffic Act, which speaks to the testing of vehicles to ensure fitness, road-worthiness and general compliance with standards of safety. The ITA, therefore, plays a pivotal role in ensuring that a high standard of safety exists on Jamaica's roadways.

“My new duties mean that I will take responsibility for the execution of both road and vehicular safety across the country. This is something I will be taking on with utmost urgency and requisite zeal. As it relates to vehicle safety, it is essential that the vehicles operating on the road network are fit and are in good condition to operate on the network, so crashes are not caused as a result of vehicle deficiency. However, most of the crashes are caused due to human error; therefore, my duties require me to play a more critical role to ensure the quality of drivers placed on the network are better than before. We will ensure they are better empowered, we will ensure they are road-safety literate, and before they sit their driving test, we'll ensure they'll be provided literature to prepare them to successfully execute and deal with matters drivers have to deal with in the traffic environment,” he added.