Sat | Aug 8, 2020

Ridiculous traffic fines

Published:Tuesday | October 22, 2019 | 12:10 AM


Is there a ceiling that the court cannot go beyond when imposing fines on motorists, or is it that there are extenuating circumstances that are taken into consideration?

Recently, there have been some seemingly ridiculously low fines being imposed on some delinquent motorists.

On October 10 and 14, 2019, six motorists were fined, accumulatively, J$160,000 for having over 1,500 unpaid traffic tickets. This reflects an average of about J$107 per ticket, starting from a low of J$80 per ticket.

Is this a revenue-collection exercise, or is it that we are about reducing the carnage on our roads?

If we are really serious about preventing the carnage on our roads, then this approach can’t be seen as a deterrent to these uncaring and reckless drivers.

A disaggregation of the numbers for each motorist is as follow:

1) 225 tickets at J$32,000 or seven days’ imprisonment; 2) 189 tickets at J$20,000; 3) 406 tickets at J$35,000; 4) 423 tickets at J$34,000; 5) 429 tickets at J20,000; 6) 235 tickets at J$30,000 or 14 days’ imprisonment.

In a separate trial, a motorist who accumulated 500 tickets was fined J$37,000 or eight days imprisonment. He had eight outstanding warrants.

When a single motorist can accumulate 500 tickets and ignore eight warrants, it says something about the mindset of the individual, and it’s also an indictment on the system.

The ineptness of the system, and the impuissant heads, who seem to be only leaders, nominally, are further exposed when motorists can drive around on a daily basis with in excess of 1,000 unpaid traffic tickets.