Wed | Jan 16, 2019

Review draconian traffic suspensions

Published:Saturday | January 13, 2018 | 12:10 AM


The people behind the proposed new Road Traffic Act are being led by the devil and are so blind that they cannot see the serious repercussions that this act, if not amended immediately, will bring on Jamaicans.

Why propose to suspend motorists' licence for six months after they accumulate 10 points, or one year's suspension after 14 points? Where is the social system in Jamaica to provide an income to such persons who might have rent to pay, children to care for, and loans to repay? Are we too stupid to see that Jamaica is not the USA or Europe which have social systems in place from which their people can get relief if they are unemployed?

The proposed act is a devil waiting to push the suspended persons into criminal activities, create spousal abuse in the homes from frustrated mothers who will make demands on their unemployed partner who is suspended from driving, and create social disorder.

Jamaica cannot just parrot everything that other countries do until a proper welfare model is in place to soften the impact of actions intended for good. Transport Minister Mike Henry should strike out the six-month and 12-month suspension penalties. The emphasis should be on fines and the enforcement of such.

A 15-day suspension could be implemented for persons who accumulate 10 or more points. That would allow them time to get back at their job as a driver and continue to cover their daily expenses for family or otherwise. That is the humane thing to do. There could also be multiple-day (15-day) suspensions within a year if the person is persistently picking up 10 or more points. The short suspension period would still have impact but it would allow the person reasonable time to get back into his job and earn as a driver.

Leader of the Opposition Peter Phillips and Jamaicans for Justice should advocate for these necessary changes to prevent the majority of our drivers from being punished by the devil (proposed new Road Traffic Act) and pushed into all kinds of problems socially.

All well-thinking Jamaicans should raise their voices and stop this monster from being implemented as it is being proposed.