Sat | Feb 22, 2020

Debate on Road Traffic Act amendments set for September

Published:Tuesday | July 24, 2018 | 12:00 AMEdmond Campbell/Senior Staff Reporter

Transport and Mining Minister Robert Montague has said that the new Road Traffic Act that was passed by the Senate on May 11 would be debated by lawmakers in the Lower House when they return in September from their summer break.

Despite a 13-per cent reduction in fatal accidents up to July 23 when compared with the similar period last year, members of the public have been enquiring about the delay in the approval of Senate amendments to the Road Traffic Bill by the House of Representatives. The Senate gave the nod to the bill with 161 amendments.

Up to July 23, road deaths numbered 186, compared to 202 for the similar period in 2017.

The Gleaner asked Montague why the Senate amendments had not been passed despite being before the Lower House for weeks.

Montague responded: "The Senate amendments were accepted by the House. These have to be worded and included in the bill. Then it has to be checked and cross-checked to ensure that all is in order and not in conflict with another bill or law. That process is completed and we can move forward with the debate as soon as we return."

He said that his ministry was ready to proceed with the bill but noted that "we have to observe the process" in Parliament.

The Road Traffic Act was passed by the House of Representatives in February this year with 131 amendments.

The proposed law contains far-reaching measures aimed at tackling high levels of indiscipline on the nation's roads.

When the legislation is passed and implemented, motorists who exceed the speed limit by 50 kilometres in school or construction zones could incur 10 demerit points. The offending motorist could have his or her licence suspended for a single offence.