KINGSTON, Jamaica— Motorists with outstanding traffic tickets are being implored to take advantage of the period of reprieve being provided by the government, to settle those matters before the new Road Traffic Act and Regulations takes effect on Wednesday, February 1.
Minister of Transport and Mining, Audley Shaw, made the call during debate on the Road Traffic (Reprieve and Nullification of Prescribed Notices) Act, 2023, which was passed in the House of Representatives on Thursday with three amendments.
The legislation is being enacted to afford people a period of reprieve to address outstanding matters in respect of notices issued prior to February 1, 2023, under section 116 of the Road Traffic Act 1938, and to nullify demerit points recorded against their licences.
Minister Shaw said the Act offers all motorists, who have tickets still unpaid, the opportunity to clear these matters from their driving record, and for all who have made their payments, to have a clean slate without demerit points, when the Road Traffic Act 2018 is brought into force.
“I therefore implore all motorists, who still have outstanding tickets, to appear early before the Traffic Court, and if they are having challenges paying their traffic tickets, to indicate their difficulty to the courts, to see whether any appropriate arrangement can be made, concerning the payments,” Shaw advised.
He said that tickets which remain outstanding after the reprieve expires will be enforced in accordance with the new provisions, to include suspension of licences.
“Your past mistakes do not have to be carried forward if you take action now to attend court, and you will face no fear of suspension going forward if you obey the rules of the road and avoid getting tickets,” Shaw pointed out.
For his part, Minister without Portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister Floyd Green, said the Road Traffic Act and the enforcement of the same, is seen as a tool to “allow us to operate safely on our roads”.
“It is a tool to help reduce the deaths, it is a tool to help instil law and order as we traverse our thoroughfares. Our ticketing system is a way to ensure that persons are sanctioned for breaking the existing road code. It is a method to urge compliance and to disincentivise non-compliance, therefore it is critical,” he pointed out.
Minister Green said that most Jamaicans, who receive traffic tickets pay them in the prescribed timeframe.
He noted that a traffic ticket only becomes outstanding after 21 days have passed and it is not paid at the tax office, and after the date on the ticket for the person to go to court to have the matter adjudicated, was not honoured.
Green informed that 2,371,494 tickets were issued from February 1, 2018 to the start of December, 2022, and 1,666,371 tickets were paid.
“You do have some tickets that were not paid but are in the courts being adjudicated,” he pointed out.
He noted that 45 people have over 500 tickets outstanding, while 1773 have between 100 and 499 tickets.
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