Motorists struggle to clear up traffic tickets across multiple parishes
A section of the crowd that turned up at the St James Parish Court in Montego Bay on Monday as motorists tried to clear up unpaid tickets before the January 31 deadline.

MONTEGO BAY, St James — The St James Parish Court was just the first stop Monday for a man who identified himself as Samuels. He was stuck there trying to clear up overdue traffic tickets so that he could move on to St Elizabeth and St Thomas.

"I have the court date for the one in Santa Cruz which you know I have to pay this afternoon, I have to go to court this afternoon. I was trying to get this one here today in Montego Bay but it doesn't look possible because I have to head to Santa Cruz now," he told the Jamaica Observer outside the courthouse with a look of dismay.

"Why couldn't they give us an amnesty even to go to the tax office instead of coming to the courts office and pay it and be over with it?" he lamented.

Truck driver Peter Peddie fared a bit better. He was seen leaving the courthouse about 1:30 pm. He had arrived at 8:00 am and he, too, had another stop to make.

"Amnesty shoulda can pay anywhere, that's what I think. Mi haffi go Falmouth now to get a next court date again. At the end of the day, a one person who pay the money so that should be able to happen," he argued.

He was also annoyed because, as far as he can recall, he had already paid his fines. He has been unable to locate the receipts to support this claim, he said. He is nonetheless willing to pay them again and just wishes the process did not involve going to court. He has been given a date in April.

Jack, who operates a taxi on the Ramble route, was also in the line from early Monday morning to pay his three tickets. He said they were overdue because he chose to buy food instead of paying them.

"More time when mi out there and get a ticket and mi look pan mi yard and it want rice and the bathroom want tissue, mi cyaan pay sometimes," he said.

He is optimistic, though, that he will be able to find the money between now and when he has to be in court.

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