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Ministry under fire for toothless traffic tickets

Published:Tuesday | October 1, 2013 | 12:00 AM

The National security ministry has failed to provide an explanation as to why the two minibus drivers involved in last week's crash that killed four students of Holmwood Technical High School last Wednesday were not stripped of their licences, as is required under the traffic ticket management system (TTMS).

This comes amid concerns by the National Road Safety Council (NRSC) that an effective TTMS could possibly have saved the students.

"If the system had been working, several drivers would have been off the roads and the possibility exists that those children would not have died," NRSC Vice-chairman Dr Lucien Jones asserted yesterday.

The Gleaner sought answers from the ministry following the shocking revelation by Senior Superintendent Radcliffe Lewis, who heads the police Traffic Division, that since 2010 when the TTMS was introduced, the two men had racked up a total of 210 tickets.

Based on his calculation, Lewis said these tickets should have attracted more than 50 demerit points, enough to have the drivers stripped of their licences for up to two years.

23 seat-belt tickets

He said his research has shown that one of the drivers was ticketed 23 times for not wearing a seat belt - an offence that carries two demerit points - and once for disobeying a red light, which carries six points.

Under the Road Traffic Act, any motorist who accumulates between 10 and 13 points should be disqualified from holding a driver's licence for six months. It also provides a one-year suspension for those who have accumulated between 14 and 19 points and a two-year suspension for drivers with more than 20 points.

The TTMS, which is administered out of the national security ministry, is a computerised system designed to record and assign these points.