Sun | Oct 1, 2023

Harsh traffic penalties have negative consequences

Published:Monday | June 5, 2023 | 12:54 AM


I am disappointed, sad, overwhelmingly frustrated as I write this letter. I am not seeking to be exonerated, as actions bring consequences; I just need to express some thoughts.

I happen to be one of many who had outstanding tickets up to November 2022. We were cajoled, threatened and persuaded to come in and pay up before December 1, or else. Trying my best to be a law-abiding citizen, I did. To my dismay, I was surprisingly slapped with a six-month driver’s licence ban for an accumulation of 14 demerit points, over two years, from three tickets.

The tickets included disobeying a stop sign, even though it was recently installed and obscured, and breaking an amber light, no matter I was already too far across the long intersection on Munroe Road and would impede traffic if I had stopped. Then, a speeding ticket, my first in 25 years of driving. I had no choice as the judge made the decision, despite me voluntarily coming in. I paid my fines, surrendered my licence and served my ban, facing incalculable loss of earnings, convenience, and production time.

After six months of painful turmoil, I had to literally pay for a new licence, though I had renewed one three months ago. I am now realising after all that, that on the back of my new licence are all the charges that I paid and got suspended for. I now further suffer the painful indignity that at every police traffic check, I could be cited as a repeat traffic offender, be unfairly judged, and dealt with accordingly.

I am now left thinking that trying to do right, even as an after thought, can turn one from perpetrator to victim, with little recourse. Perceptions carry lots of weight, even after that experience I will still try my best to be, as always, a law-abiding citizen.