STATEMENT – Over the last week, there has been much public discussion about changes to the regulatins regarding the Motor Vehicles and Road Traffic Act. The Ministry of Infrastructure, Port Services and Transport wishes to bring clarity to this matter.
Firstly, the last amendment to the Motor Vehicle and Road Traffic Act Cap 8.01 was done in 2006. Section 85 of this law gives a Traffic Officer the authority to request that a person driving a motor vehicle produces a driver’s license for examination. Failure to comply could result in a fine not exceeding $1,000.00 or imprisonment for a period not exceeding three (3) months.
However, by publication of Statutory Instrument (SI) 46 of May 2015, violation of section 85 in the Motor Vehicles and Road Traffic Act has been made a ticketable offense. The fine that this offense now attracts will not exceed $250.00 as oppossed to the previous $1,000.00. It is important to note that failing to wear a seatbelt or impropoer parking are also ticketable offenses.
These changes became necessary because the previous mechanism of 48 hours was being exploited and was proving to be unreliable as persons were being dishonest by not providing factual information about their identity. There have also been cases where persons who have been involved in accidents have left the island leaving the other parties at great loss and without the means to be compensated. The requirement for having identificatin on ones person is primarily for ensuring that a victim or driver can be traced either during acidents or even when held in connection with criminal activity.
The changes to the regulations should therefore be viewed by citizens as positive attempts by the Government to ensure safety on our roads for both drivers and pedestrians.
Executive Assistant to the Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Infrastructure, Port Services and Transport