KINGSTON – Delinquent motorists have been granted an opportunity to pay the fines on outstanding traffic tickets without incurring a penalty or interest, through an amnesty scheduled to run from August 2 to October 31.
The three-month amnesty has been provided under the Road Traffic (Temporary Ticket Amnesty) Bill, which was passed in the House of Representatives on July 11.
It will affect tickets issued from September 1, 2010 to July 31, 2017.
Piloting the legislation, Minister of National Security Robert Montague said the Bill seeks to enhance revenue administration and collection.
He noted that the measure will afford persons an opportunity to clear their driving record before the enactment of the new Road Traffic Act.
“Presently, the data show that the outstanding traffic tickets in the courts total $2.283 billion. Additionally, the records of the Inland Revenue Department (indicate) that there is $565.92 million in outstanding tickets as at December 31, 2016. As such, this amnesty will seek to facilitate the collection of these monies for the public purse,” Montague said.
To ensure the collection of these sums, the National Security Ministry intends to undertake a public education campaign via radio, print media and television, which will focus on the target audience, and a series of briefing meetings with key stakeholders, including the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), Ministry of Justice, Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ), and the Court Management Division.
Additional cashier stations and security personnel will be provided at the TAJ to manage the expected influx of motorists.
Montague informed during the amnesty, motorists have the option of contesting their tickets in court.
“However, motorists will be required to abide by the decision of the court and cannot, thereafter, utilise the amnesty offer. Additionally, motorists who do not avail themselves of the amnesty will be vigorously pursued by the strong arm of the law after the amnesty period is concluded,” he noted.
The legislation also provides for the relevant laws to be suspended to prevent the police from issuing warrants for the arrest of traffic-ticket holders during the period of amnesty. (JIS)