Chuck: Everybody taking the road as if it is a war zone
Minister of Justice Delroy Chuck speaking at the inaugural Manchester Justice of the Peace Association banquet and awards ceremony at Church Teachers' College in Mandeville on Saturday. (Photo: Kasey Williams)

MANDEVILLE, Manchester — With the new Road Traffic Act to take effect on Wednesday, Minister of Justice Delroy Chuck has reiterated that order must be brought to the nation's roads, despite continued calls for a delay in its implementation.

"We have to have some discipline in this country. The indiscipline that we see right across every road, if it is not the market vendor, it is the taxi driver and everybody taking the road as if it is a war zone," he said on Saturday at Church Teachers' College (CTC) in Mandeville.

Chuck, in addressing the inaugural Manchester Justice of the Peace Association banquet and awards ceremony at CTC, organised by custos of Manchester Garfield Green, said it is a frightening experience driving on the nation's roads.

"When you go on the road nowadays, if you're not careful you go home with heart attack, it is really a challenge to drive on the road these days and that is why the Government has said the 1st of February [Wednesday] when the new Road Traffic Act comes into operation those who fail to pay the ticket by the 31st [of January] or make arrangements, we nah give you nuh more time, you must pay your fee," said Chuck.

The justice minister, in pointing to the long lines at courts, rejected calls by some motorists for the Government to give additional time to pay outstanding traffic tickets.

"Most of the people have paid their fines lining up and these people who are complaining are not people who got the ticket last month ennuh. They got it two, three years ago and now you say to them pay your ticket by the 31st, otherwise we are going to put it against your licence or your motor vehicle and you can't drive or use the motor vehicle come the 1st of February, and you want more time?" asked Chuck.

"You had over three, four, five years to pay these fines and now you want more time. The truth of the matter is that we are leaving it to the judge, so if you run and you get to court Monday and Tuesday and the judge says come back Thursday, the judge might say 'okay since you came Tuesday, we'll consider that'..." added Chuck.

Recently Chuck had advised motorists to get a loan to repay their outstanding tickets as at the time over 2,000 people had over 100 unpaid tickets, and another 45 had over 500 outstanding traffic fines.

The Government has said that motorists who clear outstanding traffic tickets by January 31 will not incur demerit points.

BY KASEY WILLIAMS Observer staff reporter

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