Invest in cameras to expose traffic offenders - Chuck
With the carnage on the roads careening out of control, Opposition member Delroy Chuck is urging the Government to invest in cameras to expose offenders of the Road Traffic Act.
Participating in the ongoing debate on the new-look road traffic law in the House of Representatives on Tuesday, Chuck, a former justice minister, called for changes to the Evidence Act to allow civilians to capture road traffic offences.
While the joint select committee mulled over the bill, in the first 100 days of 2015, some 102 persons lost their lives in motor vehicle accidents.
But even as they urged the Government to do all in its powers to ensure that discipline is accelerated on the streets, the parliamentary Opposition warned that the imposition of hefty fines could create a blockade to the efficacy of what is potentially a good piece of legislation.
Declaring that the bill had many common-sense provisions, having gone through lengthy examination by the parliamentary committee, chaired by Transport and Works Minister Dr Omar Davies, Chuck said when passed, the new legislation should be made available to taxis and bus drivers as well as libraries and police stations.
"We are having serious problems on the road that are egregious," said Chuck. The police need assistance, they can't be everywhere," said Chuck. "Government has to invest in technology such as cameras to capture breaches of the law."
Added Chuck: "We cannot have a policeman at everybody's elbow or traffic signs. We can capture them with technology as there is too much indisciplined behaviour on the roads."
He warned that if technology was not used, carnage on the roads would continue along with soaring insurance premiums.
Chuck, however, expressed concern about a new provision in the bill which stipulates that motorists must at all times be in possession of their driver's licence or face being penalised. He described
the provision as unjust and
Chuck was supported by another Opposition member, Desmond McKenzie. Both of them called for a retention of the provisions which give the motorists in question 48 hours to produce his/her driver's licence.
With both members contending that the increased fines were overboard, Chuck urged the Government to make the paying of fines easier. McKenzie called for improvement to road infrastructure, including restoration of traffic lights.
The debate on the far-reaching bill was suspended and is expected to continue at the next sitting of Parliament.