Dave Lindo, Sunday Gleaner Writer
The Manchester Police Traffic Department is reporting a high success rate in nabbing naughty drivers since the introduction of the Traffic Ticket Management System (TTMS).
The system, which was developed by Fiscal Services Limited for the Ministry of National Security, is a web-based application which includes functions such as reporting on outstanding tickets and matching tickets to fines.
"By putting in the driver's licence number we can tell you the number of tickets the person accumulated, those which were paid and those not paid," Sergeant Florizel Williams, head of the Manchester Traffic Department, told The Sunday Gleaner.
The device is also used to check if the driver's licence presented to the police is valid, and if the person is licensed to operate the vehicle they are driving.
"It has helped us a lot in the short time we have been using it; we have made a number of arrests, more than 20," Williams said of the system which was introduced to the parish some four months ago.
"In some cases, we have found persons who possess driver's licences that are not valid," added Williams, who noted that some of the fake driver's licences are so close in appearance to the legitimate ones that they are not easily detected by members of the police force without technology.
"It has helped in hit-and-run accidents, also where a lot of time persons are able to catch just the registration numbers of vehicles. What we do, once we punch in the numbers and get all those information, we can give it to the other party who report it to their insurance company.
"That insurance company will then contact the insurance company of the hit-and-run driver."
Another plus for the police in using the device is that it saves time.
"Once you punch in the information, within seconds the result comes up so it is less time for the motorist," said Williams.
"What used to happen is that we would have to radio police Control, and Control would tell you to wait for a reading. They would maybe have to call Kingston so it would take a very long time."
Last year, the Manchester police issued more than 12,000 traffic tickets to offenders.
So far this year, they we have issued 6,857 tickets for multiple traffic offences.
"Hundreds of tickets have been issued for driver's failure to use designated parking areas and for obstruction of traffic," said Williams.
Other violations include dangerous and careless driving, driving contrary to their road licence, and speeding.
There have been 14 deaths from traffic accidents in Manchester since the start of the year.