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Ministry locks down traffic amnesty website

— Reviewing database

Thursday, July 12, 2012    

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THE Ministry of National Security yesterday locked down its traffic ticket amnesty website, a day after the site was uploaded and following numerous complaints about the accuracy of information posted on it.

In a release yesterday, the ministry said that it, along with the Tax Administration of Jamaica (TAJ), was reviewing the database.

The amnesty offers motorists who pay all outstanding tickets issued before September 21, 2010 within the next six months a reprieve from arrest.

The site required that motorists enter their Taxpayer's Registration Number twice to see whether they have outstanding tickets.

But on Tuesday, motorists complained that they were listed for tickets that they had already settled and that the offences for which they were listed were undated.

The problem was blamed on an outmoded system of recording payments for traffic tickets in the island's courts.

Yesterday, the ministry said that persons who have information on their outstanding tickets may settle them at TAJ while the database is being checked.

"We remind the public that the amnesty lasts for six months and may be extended...," the ministry said, noting that the glitch should not affect motorists' "ability to take advantage of the amnesty".

On Tuesday, head of the Police Traffic Division Superintendent Radcliffe Lewis said there was no need for motorists to be worried over the glitch.

"We have heard of the reports that some motorist have been left worried as the system is showing that they are delinquent customers even after they have paid, but there is no need for alarm," he told the Jamaica Observer.

Meantime, Opposition spokesman on national security, Delroy Chuck, yesterday called on National Security Minister Peter Bunting to review the amnesty, saying the foul-up would not have occurred "had the initiative been properly planned and managed".

He argued that when the law was tabled, it was done with a start date to be determined to give the stakeholders time to ensure a smooth commencement.

"It is clear that the Government did not use the time between passage of the law and implementation to clear these hurdles," Chuck said.

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