Traffic Offenders Will Receive Citations In The Mail

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The Petty Room

In a post cabinet media briefing, Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi said that traffic offenders will now receive their citations in the mail.

“If you break a red light you will get a picture taken and you will receive a citation in the mail or otherwise, telling you that you have done this, and it will be met by a sanction which will be collected by way of citation.” said Al-Rawi.

The legislation seeks to amend the Motor Vehicle and Road Traffic Act and will identify certain offences as traffic violations, which will be met by a penalty which will require fines.

Al-Rawi said the Judiciary in conjunction with the Ministry of Works and Transport, the Attorney General’s Office and other entities have been working on certain amendments to the Motor Vehicles and Road Traffic Act to treat with criminality on the nation’s roads and police man hours in court.

“We have been working assiduously on a package of laws to treat with criminality on the roads, to treat with the man hours in the courts and the man hours of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service.”

He stated that there are roughly 23,000 cases every year in the Traffic Court, and of that, roughly 30 percent of those result in a conviction or fine while “the vast majority, approximately 70 percent of cases just fall apart”.

“Our policemen have to turn up in court 100 percent of the time for 30 percent of the success…that is police man hours at risk and cost. While police could be engaged in more serious matters, the traffic court has absorbed a significant amount of time,” he said.

Proposed amendments include electronic payment of tickets, the identification of certain offences as violations, the establishment of red light camera systems and the reform of fixed penalty systems, which he says will free up policing and judicial time.

The digitised system includes the installation of red light camera systems at specified traffic lights.

The red light camera system will take a photo of the driver’s license plate along with details of the violation, which will be delivered to the driver either by mail or otherwise.

Drivers can either contest the fines in court or they can pay the cash amounts online at approved centres, Al-Rawi said.

“If you break a red light you will get a picture taken and you will receive a citation in the mail or otherwise, telling you that you have done this, and it will be met by a sanction which will be collected by way of citation.”

Failure to pay or challenge the fine will result in drivers being unable to renew their registrations until the fines have been paid off in full.

“If you don’t pay your violations it will be attached to your licensing and vehicle registrations.”

“Bottom line is you can run but you can’t hide.”

“When you come to renew your registrations, you will not be permitted to transact the business until you’ve cleared the arrears.”

“Any day, any time that you break these traffic lights, you are going to be spotted and you are going to be known.”

“What the population wants to see is results, and we’re prepared to show Trinidad and Tobago the results of our hard work,” Al-Rawi said.

The Bill will go to Parliament on Friday.

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