LETTER OF THE DAY - Drop ticket incentive
THE EDITOR, Sir:
IT WAS recently publicised that among the categories of awards being given at some police divisional awards ceremonies was the award/incentive for the officer who wrote the most traffic tickets. I believe that the divisional heads should rethink this category as, based on my experience, some tickets are unjustly written. And, based on the nature of man, we really don't want those incidents to increase as a result of someone's quest for recognition and incentive.
My call has been predicated on two very recent, glaring incidents. I was the passenger in a vehicle coming into Kingston when about 150 metres from the traffic light on the Linstead bypass we were pulled over by a police unit. My driver came out of the vehicle and went to speak with the officers. He was obviously taken aback about why he was stopped but consoled himself that it was a mere spot check.
We were the third vehicle that went through when the light, for those continuing straight ahead, changed to green and I really wondered if it was the red filter light they were looking at and erroneously said we went through red. The behaviour of the police, however, did not display the reality that they are human and they could have erred.
There was another incident where a friend heading out to Montego Bay was stopped in Discovery Bay and ticketed $5,000 for doing 72 mph in a 50 mph zone. In this situation, it was a three-car vehicle convoy and he was in the middle - almost bumper-to-bumper. All vehicles were travelling at a relatively slow pace and none of the other vehicles were stopped for speeding. Being confident that he was driving well within the speed limit, he asked to see the reading on the speed gun but the police flatly refused.
A couple days after, on his return to Kingston, he requested and was provided with information on speed and location for the entire day in question by the company whose service he employs to track his motor vehicle. The records confirmed that he was right - he never exceeded 50 mph from Runaway Bay and at the point where the police stopped the vehicle in Discovery Bay he was doing 45 mph. Remember, he was prosecuted for doing 72 mph.
Giving an incentive for 'most traffic tickets written' can really open a can of human errors for an iniquitous reward.