Senator the Honourable Kamina Johnson Smith says the levels of indiscipline and unsafe practices on Jamaica’s roads are unacceptable and that stricter penalties under the new Road Traffic Bill will therefore be enforced to protect our people.
The Bill, which will continue to be debated in the Senate on Friday, May 11, will protect lives by compelling motorists to be more cautious on the roads.
In addressing the matter, Senator Johnson Smith asserted that, under the New Bill, motorists will be prevented from renewing their driver’s license or certificates of fitness if outstanding traffic tickets are unpaid. “Gone are the days when people can lose tickets or simply ignore tickets in order to avoid the consequences of their breaches of the law.”
Johnson Smith further noted that license plates will be assigned to a specific vehicle and will be readily traced back to the owner. She says “This move is significant under the Bill because it places greater responsibility on the owner of the vehicle for how his or her vehicle is used”. Also, owners will be mandated to keep a record of every person authorised to drive or operate the vehicle and to give information on the identity of the driver who commits an offence.
In her remarks, the Senator noted “We all experience the indiscipline on our roads. This must change. We have to do better. As road users, we need to take responsibility for our safety and the safety of others. As members of the Senate, we need to play our part by bringing into force a new regime that not only promotes safer use of the roads, but provides better enforcement mechanisms.”
Senator Johnson Smith expressed concern about road fatality figures, since the start of the year. She noted that excessive speeding, disobeying of traffic lights, swerving and tailgating were the leading cause of injuries and fatalities in Jamaica. She concluded therefore, that it is imperative that the Senate support the new legislation in order to protect road users, including pedestrians.