Public urged to support implementation of road traffic act
The public is being implored to support members of the police force as they enforce the new Road Traffic Act and Regulations, which come into effect on Wednesday, February 1.
State Minister in the Ministry of National Security, Hon. Zavia Mayne, made the appeal while addressing the opening ceremony of a two-day Road Traffic Act and Regulations training conference at the National Police College of Jamaica (NPCJ) in Twickenham Park, St. Catherine, on Monday (January 30).
The objective of the session is to sensitise members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) about the changes under the new Act and discuss specific scenarios/disputes that may arise while enforcing the law.
An aide-memoire is also being prepared by the JCF to help guide officers through the new Act and Regulations.
Mr Mayne, in noting the importance of the legislation, said if road traffic violations continue to be ignored, it will “lead to the ultimate breakdown of order in our society”.
He said that road crashes are a leading cause of death in the country, with statistics from the Road Safety Unit indicating that 488 persons died on the roads in 2022.
“This is an increase over the previous year, 2021, which had 439 deaths,” he pointed out.
Mr Mayne said it is expected that the implementation of the end-to-end digitised Traffic Ticketing System will significantly boost the efficiency of the JCF.
The system goes live on February 1, on the same day the new Act is implemented.
Tickets will be issued using a hand-held device, which will make the information readily available to the authorities.
Commissioner of Police, Major General Antony Anderson, said that 750 additional devices were handed over to the JCF.
He noted that the devices will allow motorists to pay their traffic ticket fines “even before they leave the scene of offence”.
“Last year, we were using just under 70 devices, and they accounted for 70,000 tickets,” he pointed out.
The Commissioner said that while there may be some challenges in the early days of the law coming into force, he expects that persons will become more compliant with the rules of the road.
He urged police personnel to maintain professionalism when engaging with motorists.
“In the early stages, we’re going to have to spend a lot of time guiding persons whom we interact with on what is correct, and so it is important that we have the correct interactions with the public because when you ticket somebody, it is not personal, so we have to keep it at that level,” he said.
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