Sun | Sep 24, 2017

Gov't collects millions as motorists exploit ticket amnesty

Published:Friday | August 11, 2017 | 8:00 AM
In this August 2 file photo, persons are seen at the Constant Spring Tax Office making use of the ticket amnesty.

Just three days after the launch of the 2017 traffic ticket amnesty on August 2, the Government has collected nearly $15 million in fees from outstanding tickets.

Between August 2 and August 4, just over 7,000 persons made payments on outstanding traffic tickets at tax offices islandwide.

The traffic ticket amnesty, which ends on October 31, provides motorists with the option of paying off their outstanding traffic tickets either online, using the Tax Administration of Jamaica's website - www.jamaicatax.gov.jm - or at any of the island's tax offices, which have been outfitted with additional cashiers and security personnel.

During the 91-day traffic ticket amnesty period, motorists will have telephone access to a specially established call centre at 948-0406 or 948-0411, where agents can provide clarification on all amnesty-related matters, such as the number of tickets a motorist has outstanding and how he/she can retrieve misplaced tickets.

Since the call centre became active on August 2, more than 5,000 calls have been received with queries on the payment process, the matter of outstanding tickets attracting demerit points and how to deal with tickets that have warrants attached.

 

Records will not be cleared

 

The traffic ticket amnesty will allow motorists to pay their outstanding traffic tickets without attracting demerit points. However, tickets that are paid during the amnesty will not be removed from the motorist's record. Rather, they will remain on the system, but reflect a paid status.

"Motorists need to understand that their record will not automatically be cleared of their traffic offences," the Ministry of National Security said in a news release. "Though the demerit points attached to the tickets will be cleared - or rather - not be assigned, the motorist's record will still reflect that they committed a traffic offence, which they have paid," the ministry said.

Amnesty does not apply to some

Persons with ticket amounts they are unable to clear at once will have the option of making several payments throughout the amnesty period until the outstanding amounts have been cleared.

For motorists who have been issued with warrants for outstanding tickets, special arrangements would be made to clear those as once the ticket has been paid during the amnesty period, arrangements will be made for the warrant to be disposed of at court.

The amnesty does not apply to ticket-related summonses that are currently before the court, or are active.