Chuck slams cabbies for traffic ticket amnesty request

OCHO RIOS, St Ann — Clearly peeved by what he described as the “audacity” of motorists who have racked up a combined total of about one million unpaid traffic tickets and are now appealing to the Government for an amnesty, Minister of Justice Delroy Chuck on Thursday made it clear there will be no leniency forthcoming.

Instead, he said, he has given the green light for the extension of court hours so offenders may deal with what is now strictly a legal matter.

“The chief justice has asked for help and we have given him permission to have night court and courts on a Saturday because the payments must be made,” said Chuck at a commissioning service for justices of the peace in Ocho Rios.

“There are over 2,000 drivers with 100 tickets; nearly 500 with 500 tickets, and these are the people who say they need time to pay. The audacity of persons who have violated the road code to come and say, ‘We want an amnesty.’ The rudeness to demand of Government to give them a plan and time. This Government will not back down and every single violator must know that there will be consequences,” he said.

On Thursday, Chuck hammered home the point that the Government will not interfere with the judiciary’s execution of its duties. The court, he said, will now be doing everything in its power to discipline repeat offenders.

“This is a matter for the court, not for the prime minister or the Government. If you fail to pay your tickets in 21 days, it is a matter for the court. You want a payment plan? Go and talk to the judge. We have no authority to dictate to the court what should be done,” he said.

He noted that all unpaid traffic tickets accumulated over the last 10 years will be posted on the justice ministry’s website so motorists will have the information needed to pay their fines.

“I can warn you that if you don’t pay it, there will be consequences. The traffic violators will shortly find out that their licence can’t be renewed or their vehicles can’t be licenced and warrants will be issued,” he warned.

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