HEAD of the Police Traffic Division, Senior Superintendent Radcliffe Lewis, has urged motorists to use the grace period — now in force — to clear their outstanding traffic tickets, as there will be no letting up when the time expires on January 21.
"Get your houses in order or face prosecution. There will be no holding back at the end of this period that comes to a close on January 21," SSP Lewsi said on Wednesday.
The senior superintendent announced the grace late Monday at the end of a six-month-long amnesty that allowed motorists to clear outstanding traffic tickets, issued up to September 21, 2010, without facing penalties.
However, many motorists waited until the last minute to pay the fines, resulting in severe crowding at tax collections centres across the island over the last week of the amnesty.
On Wednesday, the Ministry of National Security announced that that over 60 per cent of the almost $340 million collected during the amnesty was earned on December 31 — the last day — which saw more than 21,000 people turning up at tax offices across the island.
But many did not get a chance to clear their tickets, while others complained that their names were still being shown as delinquents despite having paid the fines.
Wednesday, Lewis — who had previously promised to go after delinquent motorists at the end of the amnesty — said the police had made a decision to delay the clampdown and allow the motorists more time to clear their names.
"During this time, police will exercise their discretion and try to accommodate motorists who were not able to fully capitalise on amnesty system," said Lewis, reiterating that the grace does not apply to motorists with tickets issued after 2010.
Mwanehile, Wednesday Minister of National Security Peter Bunting announced that persons who had started the process of clearing their names, but did not complete same by December 31, have up until today to do so.
Additionally he said his ministry, Tax Administration Jamaica, and the courts will update and reconcile their databases to determine the accuracy of claims that persons who had paid their fines were being shown as delinquents.
"Where persons who have paid for tickets during the amnesty are able to provide proof of prior payment, they will be eligible for a refund," the minister said in a statement to the media.
As for persons who did not take advantage of the amnesty, the minister said thety would to clear their names through the traffic court when it resumes on Monday.