HOPEWELL, Hanover — Several people, some attached to the Hanover Taxi Association based in Hopewell, turned out on Monday to protest against the recently enacted Road Traffic Act.
Some of the protesters staged a peaceful, placard-bearing protest in the square under the watchful eye of the police, while others engaged in the partial blocking of the Hopewell in Hanover to Reading in St James main road utilising felled trees across the road.
The group is insisting that while they support aspects of the Road Traffic Act, which has resulted in increased fines and the enforcement of provisions which were already on the books, they are of the view that much of the traffic act is "outrageous".
"This protest is not all about car seats. We see where they are trying to take away our driver's licence because we acknowledge that every driver's licence carries 14 points. Under one seat belt ticket, it can take four points from your driver's licence," explained one protestor who gave his name as 'Out-A-Road'.
"So, this is a scam and a sham. So, right now we are rebelling against the new Road Traffic Act. It is way ridiculous," argued Out-A-Road.
A section of the Act which also prohibits vehicle owners from towing another vehicle in need despite all vehicles being manufactured with towing capabilities is another issue for the protestor.
"Now, you have fi guh use a wrecker [or tow truck] which is $45,000 to put it [vehicle] on a wrecker. If you can't afford it, how it go? It is impossible. We are not working with the new Road Traffic Act in no way. So, we come this morning for it to be abandoned and if it is not stopped, we are coming tomorrow morning again and again and again," emphasised the protestor.
Out-A-Road made it clear, however, that he is in full support of putting a stop to drivers utilising a physical phone while driving, driving without a driver's licence, and driving without insurance.
In the meantime, another protestor who gave his name as Kemar Barrett pointed to another contentious issue, which caught the attention of Prime Minister Andrew Holness regarding the need for all public passenger vehicles to be equipped with seat restraining systems for children under 12 years old.
Barrett claimed his twin cousins were impacted while trying to get a vehicle for school. He said the requirement has resulted in some vehicles denying some customers their services.
Last Friday, Holness committed the Government's intent to revise this section of the law.
— Anthony Lewis
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