Tue | Oct 3, 2023

Go to court and pay, Chang tells traffic offenders

Published:Friday | January 27, 2023 | 1:18 PM
Minister of National Security Dr Horace Chang speaking at the presentation of musical instruments to Irwin High School in Montego Bay, St James on January 27, 2023. - Ashley Anguin photo.

National Security Minister Dr Horace Chang says motorists with outstanding traffic tickets should take their case to a judge.

Chang says the government is not minded to push back the window of reprieve being offered to traffic offenders.

The new Road Traffic Act, which contains heavier penalties, will take effect next week on February 1.

Ahead of the implementation, tickets issued before February 1, 2018, will be rendered null and void while for those issued between February 1, 2018, and January 31, 2023, offenders must still pay but will not be subjected to demerit points.

Amid calls for an extension, Chang argued that the majority of motorists who are issued with traffic tickets have paid their fines within the prescribed time.

He said those in arrears should seek to settle their debts.

"There is a view to say that much of the indiscipline is from taxi drivers, but they are not the only people who are undisciplined. There is a concern that some people missed the reprieve, but I want the country to be made aware that the vast majority have in fact paid up and it is about those who have been caught at the end. And we expect that whatever date you put there, there will be a few missing the date," said Chang.

He was speaking today during a presentation of the donation of musical instruments to the Irwin High School in Montego Bay, St James.

The parliamentary Opposition had suggested on Thursday that the payment window should be extended to April 30, but that call was dismissed by Government legislators.

Chang today argued that courts will treat all outstanding traffic ticket cases fairly.

"Those who miss the date must appreciate that, really, what they are doing is that they are putting themselves at the mercy of our court system. Our judges are not wearing horns, all of them are highly trained professionals, and they understand the circumstances and will treat them well. But, we have to change the system, and we have to have a closure date and the closure date is January 31," he said.

- Ashley Anguin

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