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LETTERS OF THE DAY - The traffic ticket travesty

Published:Tuesday | January 1, 2013

THE EDITOR, SIR:

OVER THE past few days, tax offices have been teeming with thousands of motorists rushing to pay outstanding tickets before the amnesty expired. Many complained that they had attended court and had been exonerated or they had paid the fines and their names were still on the traffic authority's website as having outstanding tickets.

A tax office official admitted on television that they had no way of verifying these complaints as there was no link between the tax office records and the courts. But almost everyone went and paid, as a senior policeman was on television threatening serious consequences.

no outstanding tickets

A friend asked if I have checked the website for my name. I hadn't because I knew I had no outstanding tickets. She insisted and volunteered to look, so I gave her my TRN.

Lo and behold, my name was on the list for an outstanding ticket from 2007! I had attended court in St Ann and paid a fine of $3,000 for the offence. But there was my name. My friend insisted that I go and pay as everyone was paying again for fear of the consequences. I did not pay it.

The system is obviously flawed. The tax office payment records need to be linked to the court records. Having a campaign to collect outstanding fines without fixing the system and threatening people with imprisonment shows the contempt the authorities have for the people. But, then again ... if people are willing to line up for hours to pay one fine twice, why fix it?

COLIN WHEELER

colinlwheeler@hotmail.com