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People's Report: Proposed traffic laws confusing

Published:Saturday | June 13, 2015 | 6:00 AM

Most people, I believe, would agree that the following three traffic offences are tantamount to the single offence - that of disobeying the police.

(a) Disobeying directions or signal of constable in execution of his duty.

(b) Driver of motor vehicle failing to obey commands of constable to stop or keep motor vehicle stationary.

(c) Failing to obey police signals

In the mind of our Government, they are clearly different, as each attracts a different fine, viz:

(a) fine $5,000

(b) fine $6,000

(c) fine $7,500

Will the offender have the right to pay the lowest/lower fine, as is the case when buying an item advertised, in the same shop, for more than one price?

I guess one could argue that since the wording of those three offences cited above is not identical, then, they are really three distinct offences and could be assigned three different fines.

FULL LIST: Proposed fines for Road Traffic Act

But then look at:

(d) failing to place motor vehicle when not in motion at the nearside of roadway. (column 2)

(e) failing to place motor vehicle when not in motion at the nearside of roadway. (column 4)

IDENTICAL WORDING! But check the fines.

(d) fine $3,000

(e) fine $7,000

Bear with me, just once more - especially because the difference in fines is so large in this instance.

(f) placing on or abandoning object on road that may endanger or cause damage to vehicular or pedestrian traffic. (column 2)

(g) placing or abandoning object on road that may endanger or cause damage to vehicular or pedestrian traffic. (column 4)

(f) fine $13,000

(g) fine $5,000

Are we being asked to believe that such blatant ambiguities escaped the scrutiny of the joint select committee (of several supposedly sober persons) to reach debate on the floor of our Parliament.

Is it no longer the goal to make laws clear and unambiguous?

PATRICK D. ROBINSON

pdougrobins@gmail.com