Sun | Jun 20, 2021

Automated traffic ticketing system vital

Published:Sunday | June 3, 2012 | 12:00 AM

The Editor, Sir:

We are now in the second quarter of 2012. Last year, thanks to good luck and a strong ad campaign, the National Road Safety Council (NRSC) almost achieved its objective of less than 300 deaths for the year.

In addition to that, the much-promised hand-held units for the issuing of traffic tickets by the end of the fourth quarter of 2011 seem to have come to pass.

It has been reported that the hand-held units now in use by police have been yielding significant results - so much so that the Government wants more! According to the tabled Estimates of Expenditure, a few quick facts about traffic-ticket collection figures can be gleaned thus far:

1. In fiscal year 2011-2012, the Government collected $620 million from traffic tickets.

2.In fiscal year 2010-2011, the Government collected $620.1 million from traffic tickets.

3.In fiscal year 2010-2011, the Government projected the collection of $446 million had been revised upwards to $620.7 million (which it almost achieved!).

However, the automated traffic-ticketing system still has not been implemented.

Again, executive director of the NRSC, Paula Fletcher, has the floor. She had first brought the issue to light in July 2009 as stated in the article 'CCTV speed traps - surveillance cams to track road hogs', published on July 13, 2009, in The Gleaner.

This time around, in an article titled 'Stop it! - NRSC calls for electronic monitoring of traffic signals', published in The Sunday Gleaner of May 6, 2012, Fletcher's words rang true again: "Speeding and running the red light are two of the major reasons for the need to have electronic surveillance. We need to treat it as a matter of urgency, because lives are at risk."

Numbers game?

The usual excuse has been trotted out, of this system being too expensive. It was estimated that it would cost US$50 million to equip all traffic lights islandwide with cameras. And this does not include maintenance of the system, which is certain to be the target of vandals.

I guess human life is merely a numbers game.

I can offer no solution to this problem, save that the Government does what is right for the citizens and allocates funding to change the legislation to facilitate having this system implemented.

After all, it can be the basis for a comprehensive overhaul of our justice system. It may even help in the fight against crime based on profiles of physiological stress indicators that give away criminals, as is currently being tested in the USA.

Lindsworth Deer

Rest District

Milk River PO

Clarendon