Wed | Oct 21, 2020

No driver's license renewal, no fitness certificate for unruly drivers – Minister Chang

Published:Wednesday | September 23, 2020 | 5:42 PM
Minister of National Security, Dr Horace Chang - file photo

Minister of National Security, Dr Horace Chang, says motorists with outstanding traffic tickets will soon be barred from renewing their driver’s licence, as well as acquiring fitness certificates and similar services, until they have paid outstanding tickets.  

To date, over $40 million has been spent to implement a pilot programme island-wide to remedy the traffic ticketing issue. 

“Traffic disorder is a big problem. We are leaning towards a policy where, if a driver does not pay for traffic offences, he will not be licensed and will not be given fitness”, said Minister Chang, while speaking today at a sensitisation session on the new handheld device for the Traffic Ticketing Management System.

“Police are heavily accused when it comes to issuing traffic tickets. Nothing happens when tickets are handwritten and it is alleged that those who understand the system try to beat it.  To remedy that, we have to keep them in check by implementing an effective and efficient system to hold indiscipline drivers accountable,” the Minister said.

Chang pointed out that the Jamaica Constabulary Force’s (JCF) technology branch and e-Gov Jamaica have “responded well” to the issue by developing a modern, electronic system to replace paper based entries.

He said the new technology will merge data through a new software which will be used by the Tax Administration of Jamaica (TAJ), the courts and the Island Traffic Authority (ITA).

“I feel optimistic that we will overcome this problem,” he added. 

Chang emphasised that “this new Traffic Ticketing Management System will be accurate and readily available to support the efficient enforcement of fines and penalties, which will improve public order and public safety”.

Meanwhile, Bobette Morgan Simpson, Superintendent of Police in charge of the St Mary Police Division, said the system would not only improve ticket issuance but assist with locating criminals. “When the systems are linked, then we just might be able to find stolen motor vehicles for example, thereby giving crime fighting a boost,” she added. 

“I find it quite fascinating and it is really the way we want to go, where the different arms of government have shared and linked information, making it much easier to track offenders, in comparison to what used to happen with the paper based system,” she concluded.  

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