DIRECTOR of the Island Traffic Authority (ITA) Kenute Hare is warning motorcyclists who have removed the silencers from their mufflers to produce roaring sounds, and motorists who fit their vehicles with multicoloured lights that they will be specially targeted this year.
Hare made the pronouncement on Sunday during the first virtual town hall meeting of the St Catherine South Police Division. St Catherine has featured highly in traffic accidents in recent years.
"We will ensure that we divert resources especially to St Catherine to ensure that we can intensify our road spot check operations to catch these motorcyclists. You would have heard some loud bikes, that means some individuals would have taken the silencer out of the muffler and that is an offence. We have decibel meters — and just to say our machinery at the Island Traffic Authority is well oiled to enforce," he said.
"The Road Traffic Act will allow us to use the decibel meter; every examination depot across this island is in possession of a decibel meter. We are looking to see how we can procure some additional material to ensure that more officers can have this device," Hare told the meeting.
"We will not be extending any sympathies at all to persons who are intent on flouting the regulations. We will lend all the support that the constabulary needs across all the police divisions. I know it is a challenge for the police force to deal with motorcyclists but we are encouraging you not to let up with them; and rest assured that the ITA will give all the support needed to restore public order," Hare stated.
Additionally, he said the ITA will be "very supportive of night road spot checks [and] road safety operations throughout the Area Five Division".
"Those persons who love to drive at nights with the fandangles on their vehicles, those multicoloured lights, if yuh don't hear, as granny seh, you will feel. We don't have a problem issuing you the E1 certificate of defect and you will have to face the law as it relates to that," Hare cautioned.
In a further appeal to individuals who tint their windscreens Hare said, "Please remove the tint. I have issued strict instructions that no bly [slang for chance] must be given to anybody who tints their windscreen — we at ITA have been removing the licence plates of people who fit that criterion," he said.
In the meantime, he said the ITA would prefer if motorists obeyed the law instead of flouting them and risking the loss of points from their licences or the loss of the licence itself eventually under the New Road Traffic Act and its Regulations, which will kick in on February 1 this year.
"If you get between 10 and 13 points off your driver's licence it will be suspended for six months. Get 14-19 points off your driver's licence it will be suspended for one year; and for 20 and over points, the driver's licence will be suspended for two years.
"The law of the land will not be mocked. We are imploring persons, work with the programme. We would like every Jamaican driving a vehicle, the same way you can go on Google and download all kinds of things, download a copy of the new Act and read it for yourself. Ignorance of the law is no defence," Hare warned.
"If you have a driver's licence already, behave yourself. Don't be no 'shotta' driver, don't be no hothead driver, don't be no hotfoot driver because long run, short catch," the ITA head said.