Mon | Jun 18, 2018

Two sides to the ticket story

Published:Thursday | January 3, 2013 | 12:00 AM
Persons at the Revenue Service Centre, Constant Spring trying to beat the deadline for the amnesty on traffic tickets on Monday, December 31, 2012. - Ricardo Makyn/Staff Photographer


THERE ARE two sides to the traffic-ticket conundrum with which motorists have had to deal over the past few months, and especially over the past two weeks, that should be properly assessed. On the one hand, there is the combined inefficiencies of the police traffic department, the tax offices and the courts offices. On the other, there is the indiscipline, indifference and Anancyism of some motorists.

I am sure that some people claiming to have paid have done nothing of the sort. I am equally sure that some people just dismissed the tickets assuming they would never have been entered into some central database.That so many motorists - many upstanding citizens of good repute, have been turning up to clear their records speaks volumes about our society. I am sure not all are intentional delinquents or crooks or fall in the category of the minibus drivers who have accumulated scores of tickets. But surely, the police did not make up all of these charges either. Did they? Earlier last year at the start of the amnesty, I found my name listed for five or six offences. To say I was shocked would be an understatement. For at least two of the offences, I had no recollection whatsoever. A week and a half ago I checked, and the number had been reduced to four, but I still could not recall one - that of being stopped in the Corporate Area for not wearing a seat belt. Anyway, I went and joined the long twisting line at Constant Spring and paid. Well what do you know, last Saturday, while leafing through a book at home, I found two tickets, one of which was for the 2007 seat-belt offence. I still cannot recall when that one happened. The other was for ignoring a stop sign at a quiet off-the-main road intersection where if you ever have three cars at any one time that would be considered a traffic jam. So I was mad with the cops and "dash weh the ticket". We must operate our society on the basis that people will try to get around regulations if they can. To reduce the chances of delinquency, the authorities must implement proper systems of cross references so that the forgetful, the indifferent and the abusers are regularly reminded of their responsibilities. Now, having paid my fines, I just hope they clear my name in good time and rebaptise me as a good citizen.