LETTER OF THE DAY - Ticket amnesty drove me crazy
THE EDITOR, Sir:
Thanks to reporter Barbara Gayle for writing such a relevant and insightful article ('Traffic tickets and a can of worms!') in The Sunday Gleaner dated January 6, 2013.
Under the incessant urging of my beloved wife, I inputted my TRN and accessed the Traffic Ticket Amnesty Online Query on Monday, December 31, 2012.
Lo and behold, the 'system' indicated that I had three traffic tickets outstanding!
1. Ticket B002315965 issued 12/26/2009 and with a fine of $5,000.
2. Ticket B0004056650 issued 11/06/2005 and with a fine of $5,000.
3. Ticket B001220398 issued 12/17/2007 and with a fine of $5,000.
Remembering that on one particular occasion when I had faced the courts, in Spanish Town, St Catherine, the female justice, in disposing of my case, advised me to "keep my records of payment". (In that instance, the police officer had cited me for a crash bar which obscured my licence plate. I explained to the judge that the officer, without moving from the point where he had signalled me to stop, had written the correct information from the "obscured plate" some 20-25m away.
It was, therefore, not difficult for me to retrieve my records. (These are kept in plastic sheets, as an adaptation of my grandfather who lived to a fit 100 years and died from a blow several years ago.)
In fact, I have four receipts. Two of them cover #1 and #3 as aforementioned. I have no record of #2. However, my other receipt indicates a payment made on April 9, 2002.
I, therefore, visited the Traffic Division headquarters on Wednesday, January 2, 2013, and an extremely polite JCF officer manning the information desk informed me that he "has no information to deal with those who had paid and have their receipts". He further advised that I could wait and see what happens when a senior officer arrives. I chose not to do so, as I had a number of things to do at work.
However, I returned on Thursday, January 3, and met the same JCF constable who informed me to "pay the one that [I] have no knowledge of and walk with them like my birth certificate".
I left the precincts of the Traffic Division HQ and became cognisant that with the prevailing system we most probably have some innocent persons in prison.
There is absolutely no recourse for justice.
On both evenings, I got home in time to catch the nightly news on TVJ and CVM and to witness the head of the Traffic Division making bold, deep-voiced, theatrical announcements about those who continue to dodge the law. Unbelievable!
EWAN OLIVER (Capt)