KINGSTON, Jamaica— Scores of motorists showed up at the Corporate Area Traffic Court on Melbourne Road in Kingston on Monday to avoid being penalised when the new Road Traffic Act is implemented on February 1.
Traffic courts over the last two weeks have been inundated with crowds of motorists who are trying to secure a court date to pay outstanding fines as the new Road Traffic Act with its far more punitive fines for traffic breaches takes effect.
Motorists who have unpaid tickets after Wednesday could face prosecution, have their driver’s licence suspended or be unable to licence their motor vehicle once the new digitised Traffic Ticket Monitoring System is enacted.
Last week, the government denied attempts by Peoples’ National Party (PNP) president, Mark Golding to have the January 31 deadline extended to April 30, to afford delinquent motorists adequate time to clear outstanding traffic fines.
National Security Minister Dr Horace Chang vehemently denied the extension, stating that “they breached the law and disrespected the law” with their refusal to pay when they had the opportunity to do so.
Chang was speaking in the House of Representatives during the debate on the Road Traffic (Reprieve and Nullification of Prescribed Notices) Act which provides a period of relief for persons with unpaid traffic fines ahead of the new Road Traffic Act.
The Bill was piloted by Transport Minister Audley Shaw, who urged persons with outstanding tickets, in particular those with hundreds of tickets, to make arrangements with the courts before February 1, to work out a payment plan.