Thu | Sep 21, 2017

Henry targets driver’s licence and fitness fraud

Published:Friday | July 7, 2017 | 7:00 AMOkoye Henry

Western Bureau:

Transport minister Mike Henry says his ministry will be moving to implement phase two of a three-part plan aimed at reducing or eliminating the fraudulent issuing of driver's licences and fitness certificates by unscrupulous persons.

Henry made the revelation at Wednesday's groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of a multi-facility administrative office for both the Transport Authority and the Island Traffic Authority in Savanna-la-Mar, Westmoreland.

"Already, the first of the three phases is being implemented islandwide, where fitness certificates are now being produced electronically," said Henry. "We have completed this phase at Swallowfield, Harbour View, Spanish Town and Mandeville."

"When we move into phase two, technology will be fully utilised to capture the entire fitness certification process by using tablet solution and geo-fencing," continued Henry "This will ensure that a fitness certificate will not be produced without the motor vehicle being within the specified geo-fencing zone. And yes, I am aware that fitness certificates are produced without the vehicle going to the depot to be physically examined."

Henry said phase three will involve the computerisation of the road code, driver and learner-driving tests. According to him, the test results will be captured and sent in real time so as to know whether or not to go forward in the issuing of drivers' licences.

Statistics from the Road Safety Unit in the ministry has revealed that 170 road fatalities have occurred since the start of the year. This represents a five per cent and 12 per cent decrease in fatal crashes and fatalities, respectively, when compared to last year.

'Something is wrong with how you drive!'

Westmoreland curren-tly accounts for the highest number of road fatalities this year with 36 deaths, which is 21 per cent of the overall fatalities.

Mike Henry said that with the construction of the new 882-square-foot facility and the additional remodelling of an existing 1,677-square-foot building, he hopes that the combined efforts of both offices will lead to greater educational campaigns for motorists, as well as enforcement in order to get compliance and discipline on the road.

"Something is radically wrong with the way in which you (Westmoreland residents) are driving your cars, motorcycles and buses on the roads. If you look at the pound across from us, there are more than 600 motorcycles and more than 110 motor vehicles that have been seized by the authorities for breaches of the road code," said Henry.

The project, which is slated to start next week, will cost approximately $14 million.