Measures implemented to avoid traffic court chaos
Customer service representatives take informaton from motorists who turned up at the Corporate Area Traffic Court Tuesday to pay outstanding traffic tickets. (Photo: Garfield Robinson)

LONG lines but fast service were the order of the day as motorists turned up at the Corporate Area Traffic Court on Tuesday to address their outstanding traffic tickets ahead of the implementation of the new Road Traffic Act today, February 1.

Compared to the chaotic scenes on Monday, the hundreds of motorists who converged at the Melbourne Road-located traffic court were greeted with police officers on site to ensure that directions were followed.

There were also Court Administration Division (CAD) representatives ushering people inside intermittently, depending on the number of tickets that they had outstanding. This resulted in what seemed like seamless operations at the court and the relaying of information from organisers to motorists waiting outside the gates.

Kadiesh Jarrett-Fletcher, director of client services, communications and information at the Court Administration Division (CAD), explained that these measures were put in place to avoid a repeat of the chaos from the day before when motorists were seen on video rushing and pushing against the outer fence of the court.

"What you are seeing today is something we started organising from yesterday [Monday] in terms of putting special lines and tents and seating for the large crowd that we were expecting. So, we have created some specific lines for persons and we are going to try to hear some matters today for persons walking in," Jarrett-Fletcher told the Jamaica Observer.

"For persons who have six or more tickets, they will just be having the printout stamped and then they will be called and given a future [court] date. But for persons who have one to five tickets, we will try to list some of those for court today," she added.

Jarrett-Fletcher further said that the stamping of the tickets means that "you have engaged the process to have your tickets cleared — that's all it means".

The tickets were stamped with the date March 3, 2023, which Jarrett-Fletcher said indicates the date by when motorists should be contacted by CAD with a date to show up for court. She added, however, that if motorists are not contacted by then, they should get in touch with the CAD and they will be advised of next steps.

"We have taken their contact information and we will be calling them. We will be sifting through all the tickets, calling them, listing them for court, and giving them that date when they are to appear," Jarrett-Fletcher said.

Motorists were also asked to send an e-mail to and to include their contact information, tax registration number, and information regarding their outstanding tickets.

Some motorists expressed relief from the anticipated extended wait and long lines outside the traffic court. However, there were some motorists who expressed concern that the stamped tickets may not be enough to deter possible prosecution should they get pulled over by police after the new Road Traffic Act takes effect.

Police personnel on site were unable to answer this query.

Traffic courts across the island have, over the last two weeks, been inundated with crowds of motorists attempting to secure a court date to pay outstanding tickets before the new regulations of the Road Traffic Act, with far more punitive fines for traffic breaches, takes effect.

Motorists who have unpaid tickets after Wednesday could face prosecution, have their driver's licences suspended, or be unable to licence their motor vehicle once the new digitised Traffic Ticket Monitoring System is implemented.

Last week the Government denied requests of Opposition Leader Mark Golding to have the January 31 deadline extended to April 30 to afford delinquent motorists more time to clear outstanding traffic fines.

National Security Minister Dr Horace Chang, in his response, said: "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.

A policeman holds up a sign outside the Corporate Area Traffic Court Tuesday, advising motorists of the email address they must send information about traffic ickets, to get a court date to pay fines. (Photo: Vanessa James)
BY VANESSA JAMES Observer online reporter

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