Letters to the Editor

Proposed Road Traffic Act is a devil

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

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Dear Editor,

The people behind the proposed Road Traffic Act are being led by the devil and are so blind that they cannot see the serious repercussions that this legislation, if not amended immediately, will bring on Jamaicans.

Why propose to suspend motorists' licences for six months after they accumulate 10 points, or a year's suspension after 14 points? Where is the social system in Jamaica to provide an income to such individuals who might have rent to pay, children to care for, and loans to repay? Are we so stupid to see that Jamaica is not the USA or Europe that has social systems in place that their people can get relief from if they are unemployed.

The proposed act is a devil waiting to push the suspended motorists into criminal activities, create spousal abuse in the homes from frustrated mothers who will make demands on their unemployed partners who is suspended from driving, and create social disorder.

Jamaica cannot just parrot everything that other countries do until proper systems for social welfare are in place to soften the impact of actions intended for good.

Transport Minister Mike Henry should strike out the six-month and 12-month suspension penalties. The emphasis should be on fines and the enforcement of such.

A 15-day suspension could be implemented for motorists who accumulate 10 or more points; that would allow them time to get back at their job as a driver and continue to cover their daily expenses for family or otherwise. That is the humane thing to do. There could also be multiple 15-day suspensions within a year if the person is persistently picking up penalties that total 10 or more points. The short period of suspension would still have impact, but it would allow the person reasonable time to get back into his/her job and earn as a driver.

Leader of the Opposition Peter Phillips and Jamaicans for Justice should advocate for these necessary changes to prevent the majority of our drivers from being punished by the devil as proposed by the new Road Traffic Act and pushed into all kinds of problems socially.

All well-thinking Jamaicans should raise their voice and stop this monster from being implemented as it is presented.

Claude Henry

canute.parkes@gmail.com

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