Gov't proposes electronic road traffic surveillance and enforcement system
The government is proposing to set up an electronic surveillance system that will be used to detect and enforce road traffic breaches.
In a Ministry Paper tabled in Parliament on Tuesday, Cabinet explained that under the proposed system unmanned electronic devices will be used to capture violations.
Owners or drivers of a motor vehicle at the time of the infraction will be sanctioned in keeping with the Road Traffic Act and Regulations.
Cabinet further indicated that the system will also assist in the execution of the enforcement and legislation components of the National Road Safety Policy.
The Road Traffic Act 2018, which has been passed but not yet operationlised, makes provision for the responsible Minister to make regulations for electronic monitoring and surveillance of vehicles; the electronic detection and recording of offences committed against the Act and the method of charging for such offences.
It also allows for notices of breaches to be served in person, by post to the last known address or by electronic means.
Additionally, under the legislation, the Island Traffic Authority has been given the function to, among other things, monitor and inspection vehicles by electronic monitoring and surveillance; and the installation on, or near, any road such devices as may be approved by the Minister in the regulations, for the purpose of detecting or recording, by electronic means, offences against the Act.
Meanwhile, cabinet has approved a framework for engaging private citizens into the electronic surveillance system for the purpose of implementing a programme of advanced video enforcement technology to improve road safety.
It was explained that video technology is to be used to detect red light infractions, speeding, prohibited turns and improper lane use.
In Photo: A CCTV camera in Ocho Rios, St Ann
Other key elements of the framework
* Providers are to be allowed access to the motor vehicle database only to the extent required for operation of the system and under strict confidentially requirements.
* Data security is to be of paramount importance.
* Compensation to providers is to be negotiated within each agreement, aligned to the successful collection of penalties derived from the use of their systems.
* The government will determine the locations for deployment, based on road safety imperatives.
* A comprehensive programme of public education is to be developed.
* An oversight committee is to be established to monitor the operations, technology and other related elements of the use of electronic enforcement.
- Jerome Reynolds