Sat | Apr 20, 2019

Island Traffic Authority empowered to suspend driver's licences - Hare

Published:Monday | March 25, 2019 | 11:24 AM
Director of Road Safety Unit in the Ministry of Transport and Mining, Kenute Hare, addressing a recent Jamaica Information Service Think Tank - Contributed photo.

Director of the Road Safety Unit in the Ministry of Transport and Mining, Kenute Hare, says the new Road Safety Act better empowers the Island Traffic Authority in ensuring safety on the roadways in order to reduce injuries and deaths from crashes.

Hare told JIS News that the authority will be able to suspend the driver’s licence of persons for various violations.

“So, if persons accumulate between 10 and 13 points, their driver’s licence will be suspended for six months; 14 to 19 points, the driver’s licence will be suspended for one year; and for 20 and over points, the driver’s licence will be suspended for two years.

“That was something the Island Traffic Authority wasn’t able to execute prior to this,” he notes.

Under the new legislation, the functions of the Island Traffic Authority include, among other things, development and implementation of traffic-calming measures; testing of applicants for learner’s permits and driver’s licences; licensing and registering of motor vehicles; licensing and regulation of driving instructors and driving schools; and the setting of minimum standards for the operation of driving instructors and driving schools.

Hare, in welcoming the legislation, says it allows Jamaica to align its road-safety operation in accordance with 21st century standards and the United Nations best practices for member states, in order to stem the tide of traffic crashes.

“I believe that this new Act is very timely, especially as we approach the end of the Decade of Action for Road Safety, which is from 2011 to 2020. We have been able to achieve some things, but this new Road Traffic Act is a very good step in the right direction, as our systems now will be much better aligned and will bring us up to speed to the changes that have been occurring with motor vehicles technologically,” he says.

The initiative was officially proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in March 2010 with a goal of stabilising and reducing the level of road traffic deaths around the world.

Data provided by the Road Safety Unit showed that since the start of the year, 90 persons have died.

Pedestrians, motorcyclists, passengers and drivers of private motor vehicles have recorded the highest number of fatalities to date. 

Some 389 Jamaicans were killed on the roadway in 2018. 

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