A new digitised traffic ticketing system will be launched simultaneously with the new Road Traffic Act which comes into force on February 1, as the Government seeks to establish an effective traffic enforcement regime.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Security Dr Horace Chang, who made the disclosure during a statement in Parliament on Tuesday, said this end-to-end e-ticketing system is being implemented to strengthen the new Road Traffic Act “because legislation may exist, but unless there is effective enforcement, then it leads nowhere”.
“In order for us to achieve true and lasting behaviour change among the motoring public [and] for there to be good order on our roadways that will result in fewer road fatalities, there must be an effective system of enforcement to ensure deterrence,” he said.
He noted that the Major Technology Transformation Branch of the Ministry of National Security has led the process of transforming the traffic ticket management system (TTMS) into an end-to-end digitised ticketing system.
“This e-ticketing system is a fully integrated, modernised, mobile traffic ticketing system that supports all the agencies that are involved in traffic enforcement. This necessitated significant enhancement of the old system acquired in 2009 because it was sitting around being partially used, but the result of that partial implementation was that few motorists were held accountable,” Chang said.
He said that under the new system the critical agencies involved in enforcement of the Road Traffic Act will work closely and seamlessly together â€“ the police, tax office, Island Traffic Authority, and the court system. Chang noted that the enhanced ticketing system guarantees that tickets and related information in the TTMS will be accurate and readily available and will lead to significant improvements in public order and safety as well as bring discipline to Jamaica’s roadways.
“When a ticket is issued using the hand-held device, the information is immediately available to all the relevant stakeholders. In addition to the print-out, the motorist will receive an electronic version of the ticket via e-mail. The ticket can be paid online via the tax administration’s portal and the process concluded quickly, conveniently and non-contentiously,” he said.
“Motorists must be mindful that, as of February 1, 2023, traffic enforcement will be efficiently managed by the traffic ticket management system, and rogue motorists will not escape prosecution. All information will be readily available to police officers who will be outfitted with either a smart check application [in their vehicles] or the hand-held devices. Undisciplined motorists must remember that when they attend court they are at the discretion of the judge,” he further warned.
Chang, meanwhile, implored all motorists with outstanding tickets to make arrangements to have them paid up by January 31, 2023. “As of the 31st of January, you will not be able to hide from being held accountable. Pay your tickets now,” he stressed.
He said the new system will not only increase the efficiency of the Public Safety and Traffic Enforcement officers by ensuring that motorists who break the law receive with immediacy the prescribed consequence, but importantly, it will nullify speculations of corruption and avoidance, he said.
He reminded that the Government, through a resolution in Parliament, has stipulated that all tickets that were given before the 1st of February 2018, will not be taken into account; and tickets that have been paid between February 1, 2018 to January 31, 2023 will have all demerit points expunged.
“Take advantage of this window of opportunity that has been provided by the Government and pay up your outstanding tickets,” he said.
Chang said he believes that as the drivers become sensitive to the efficiency and effectiveness of the new system, “I expect you will have less road abuse and therefore less tickets”.
In the meantime, he noted that the Traffic Ticket Web-lookup portal that has already been launched will allow motorists to check the status of their traffic tickets, print their records and use this to attend to their matters in the courts.
“As at February 21 the demerit points will be available online and employers having access to it can in fact indicate to a driver that they have to stop working as their licence will become suspended by the Island Traffic Authority,” he said.
Under the Road Traffic Act, it is an offence to employ or permit a person to drive, without the person being the holder of a driver’s licence, thus making the employer liable to a fine of $30,000 or 10 days’ imprisonment.
Opposition spokesperson on transport Mikael Phillips, while welcoming the new e-ticketing system, called for a public education campaign which was promised by the Government.