Jamaican Government Enact “Traffic Amnesty Bill”

This long talked about Traffic Amnesty Bill is intended to boost government’s revenues and remove demerit points from the traffic records of delinquent motorists who have either refused or forgotten to meet the deadline allotted by law to pay traffic fines as ticketed. The Courts can prosecute but the system has been bottle necked and the share volume of tickets has glowingly made the system inefficient and unreliable. For example courts have attempted to jail accuser of outstanding tickets then it is discovered that these fines were already paid.

The Bill was piloted by Pearnel Charles Jr., in the Senate, he is also Junior Minister of National Security, in the Ministry of National Security.
The Bill
“An ACT to Enhance revenue administration and collection, afford persons to clear their driving record, improve the efficiency of the courts and reduce the number of cases in the courts by granting an amnesty, for a period commencing on August 2, 2017 and ending on October 31, 2017 or such further period as each House of Parliament may determine by resolution, to facilitate the payment of outstanding penalties relating to prescribed notices issued during the period commencing on September 1, 2010 and ending July 31, 2017 under section 116 (2) of the Road Traffic Act;; and for c connected matters.
This Act may be cited as the Road Traffic (Temporary Ticket Amnesty) Act 2017 and shall come into operation on August 2, 2017.”
The Opposition had concerns and the passage of this bill was not smooth although it was support in the end by the PNP Opposition Senators of course in the Senate.
Lambert Brown a Trade Unionist and PNP Senator said “I do not support amnesties in particular … those with demerit points will have their slate cleaned … those who played by the rules get shafted”. He also questioned the efficiency of the court system.
Senator KD Knight an Attorney at law and PNP Senator said,” It is all about revenue collection … the system needs to be improved before this amnesty comes into being …. “
Government Senator Pearnel Charles Jr. said “enforcement is the best way to proceed.”
The projected collection is 3 billion Jamaican dollars from the Traffic Amnesty
The Bill was passed with 13 amendments in the Senate and will become law when the Governor General signs same and it it gazetted.
Hopeton O’Connor-Dennie, SIC was in the House and listened to the rather lengthy debate and filed this story for Vision Newspaper.

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