Road Traffic Bill geared towards public safety, not revenue - Knight
Opposition Senator K.D. Knight has said that Jamaicans should stop perpetuating a narrative that the Road Traffic Bill currently before the Senate is geared towards generating additional revenue for the Government. He said that during his stint as minister of national security, he was never tasked with boosting government income through traffic tickets.
"I had no indication that that had happened prior to my tenure and I have no indication that it has happened subsequent to my tenure. It just is not so," Knight declared, as he addressed the Senate on Friday.
He argued that governments are usually anxious about ensuring safety on roads and the proposed legislation fits into that mission.
Knight added, "When you hear these statistics at the end of the year: 300-odd persons dead from road accidents, persons who had every organ in their body working. They leave home, every organ working, and then bam! Some crazy coot drives a motor vehicle, either on the sidewalk and kills the person, or into another car, or into a bicycle."
Government Senator Charles Sinclair asserted that drivers should simply obey the rules of the road. He explained, "Mr President, I note the increased penalties for the offences committed, and, unlike Senator (Noel) Sloley who wants to draw an analogy to new taxes, it's not new taxes; it's not something that you have to pay. You have to pay your tax."
Some of the proposed fines include: $25,000 for careless driving where a collision occurs, $2,000 for driving without a seat belt, and $10,000 for not producing licence when requested by a police officer.