Wed | Dec 6, 2023

Traffic court payment system archaic, needs revamp

Published:Tuesday | May 23, 2023 | 12:08 AM


I recently attended Traffic Court in Claremont, St Ann. It is the first time that I have ever set foot in His Majesty’s court. Albeit, I should not have been there because I was unfairly ticketed, which resulted in the learned judge dismissing my case.

While waiting for my name to be called, I could not believe what I observed; persons who were found guilty and fined were paying the fine, for which, I noticed there was no receipt being issued. I found this to be very strange, that after going to the Traffic Court and having your case heard, you have nothing to show that you attended court. I was under the impression that people would be directed to a cashier to pay the fine and be given a proper receipt stamped with the court’s seal. Remember, the fact that you are now at court would mean that the payment date on the ticket has passed. Nothing in the government system is real-time, so after attending court, if you are stopped by the police you may be arrested for the offence that you settled at the court – as the records are not updated.

I checked the website on May 21 to see if my ticket status was updated. The website was showing that the ticket is still outstanding. I called the relevant Jamaica Constabulary Force number. The female officer who answered the phone was courteous, she informed that “because you attended Court, only the Court can update the system”. Four weeks have passed since I attended the court and paid my fine, but the database is not updated. I am wondering, is this really where we are in our judicial system?

Basil Jarrett recently wrote an article ‘My traffic court experience’ – I would like to suggest that Major Jarrett check the database to see if that ticket is still showing as outstanding, or else he may be arrested next time the cops pull him over. I doubt that he got a receipt for the $4,000 fine that he paid at the Traffic Court.