Wed | Apr 25, 2018

Stressful amnesty

Published:Sunday | January 13, 2013 | 12:00 AM


Under much duress in the form of the overt threats of arrest by one ranking member of the police force, who became the mouthpiece of the government traffic-ticket amnesty, many of us paid a second time traffic fines that were already, and in due time, settled in the courts.

One view of that distasteful TV advertisement, where a seemingly honest-to-goodness citizen was jailed between what appeared to be hardened criminals, sent many of us to the Tax Administration website. Many, for the first time, realised that in a few days they would be liable for prosecution and time in jail.

Now, many are left with a glimmer of hope that the courts might find this amnesty, which brought hundreds of millions of dollars to the Government's coffers, to be illegal. The Government, in effect, used a flawed accounting system to bring to book errant motorists with long-outstanding traffic tickets, but in the process, made culprits of those who already made restitution.

One questions the validity of a single policeman being allowed to drive fear into the hearts of the Jamaican people, even as precious little came from the mouth of both the commissioner of police and the national security minister.

The amnesty, which caused much embarrassment to honest citizens, brought on undue stress in already stressful times, created chaos, and wasted productive time, should be contested in the courts.