No license or fitness renewal for unruly drivers

September 24, 2020
Minister of National Security the Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, joins Port Maria police officers during a presentation on the effectiveness of the handheld Traffic Ticketing Management System on Wednesday, September 23.

Minister of National Security, Dr. Horace Chang, says that with the introduction of a new policy, motorists with outstanding traffic tickets will soon be barred from renewing their driver’s licence as well as acquiring fitness certificates and similar services, until they have paid outstanding tickets.

To date, over $40 million has been spent to implement a pilot programme island-wide to remedy the traffic ticketing issue.

Speaking at the recently held senitisation session on the new handheld device for the traffic ticketing management system in St. Mary, Minister Chang said, “traffic disorder is a big problem. We are leaning towards a policy where, if a driver does not pay for traffic offences, he will not be licensed and will not be given fitness.”

“Police are heavily accused when it comes to issuing traffic tickets. Nothing happens when tickets are handwritten and it is alleged that those who understand the system try to beat it. To remedy that, we have to keep them in check by implementing an effective and efficient system to hold indiscipline drivers accountable,” he added.

Minister Chang pointed out that the ministry’s transformation team, the Jamaica Constabulary Force’s (JCF) technology branch, and e-Gov Jamaica have responded well to the issue by developing a modern, electronic system to replace paper based entries.

He said the new technology will merge data through a new software which will be be used by the Tax Administration of Jamaica (TAJ), the courts and the Island Traffic Authority (ITA).

“I feel optimistic that we will overcome this problem”, he noted.

Minister Chang reiterated that for the past two years, significant investments have been made into a web-based system, which is expected to increase the use of technology and improve the ticketing process.

The handheld ticketing solution is a fully integrated, modernised traffic ticketing system, that has been conceptualised and developed to eliminate many points of failure within the existing ticket management system.

Minister Chang emphasised that this new traffic ticket management system will be accurate and readily available to support the efficient enforcement of fines and penalties, which will improve public order and public safety.

Meanwhile, Bobette Morgan Simpson, superintendent of police in charge of the St. Mary Police Division, said the system would not only improve ticket issuance but assist with locating criminals.

“When the systems are linked, then we just might be able to find stolen motor vehicles for example, thereby giving crime fighting a boost”, Morgan added.
“I find it quite fascinating and it is really the way we want to go, where the different arms of government have shared and linked information, making it much easier to track offenders, in comparison to what used to happen with the paper based system”, she concluded.

The ministry’s transformation team says it will continue its sensitisation sessions in Portland, Westmoreland and Hanover, commencing today through to Monday.

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