Jamaica Gleaner
Published: Tuesday | January 8, 2013
Home : Letters
Traffic ticket fiasco points to other problems
THE EDITOR, Sir:

The current traffic ticket amnesty fiasco raises many questions and explains, in part, our poor state of affairs.

First of all, it is frightening to know that people could have been allowed to accumulate so many unsettled traffic tickets without penalty, and when granted an amnesty waited until the last minute to address it. No wonder the lawlessness on our roads as exhibited by so many of our public passenger vehicles, because there seems to be no accountability.

Even more frightening is the poverty of thought displayed by our political and administrative leaders who preside over such an inefficient system and the amnesty itself. One would have thought that the authorities would have taken steps to clean up the database of outstanding tickets when they had to withdraw the list some months ago when the amnesty was first announced. It is also reasonable to expect that they would have announced arrangements for discrepancies to be cleared up.

What is the purpose of the Traffic Authority if licences are just routinely granted to public passenger drivers without any checks on their traffic violations?

NO CONVENIENCE

Last, but not least, why did Government not make arrangements for motorists to settle these tickets online, leaving the tax offices to concentrate on collecting more substantial revenues, before announcing the amnesty?

From accounts of events at tax offices over the last few days, it would be surprising if these delinquent motorists did not crowd out taxpayers of far more substantial amounts for GCT and other statutory obligations, not to mention the further confusion that will result when consequential penalties are charged on such liabilities.

This is shameful. Yet, neither the ministers of transport and national security (past and present) nor the tax authorities seem aware of their own deficiencies that helped to create the indiscipline on our roads, the confusion over the last week, or the loss to the economy resulting from the fiasco.

Finally, are the motorists going to be able to continue their bad driving and disregard for traffic tickets until the Government needs to rake in some badly needed revenue?

PUBLIC INTEREST

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