09 Jun 2016
Policy For: Amending the Legislative Framework Governing the Fixed Penalty Traffic Ticketing System and The Introduction of a Demerit Points System in Trinidad and Tobago Ministry of Works and Transport Legal Services Unit
The Ministry of Works and Transport (MOWT) bears the responsibility for the continued development and implementation of traffic law enforcement measures and strategies for the regulation of road use and promotion of road safety in Trinidad and Tobago. In the view of the MOWT, it has become necessary to implement a system of Demerit Points, which is aimed at engendering greater responsibility by those who drive on the nation’s roads, by imposing a robust change of the attitudes and cultural behaviour of motorists towards road safety.
2. The proposed Demerit Points System initiative would allow for demerit points to be ascribed to a person’s driver’s licence, where a driver was issued with a fixed penalty notice or, convicted by a Court for a traffic violation under the Motor Vehicles and Road Traffic Act, Ch. 48:50.
3. Further, from an assessment of the current legislation, it is considered necessary that practical and modern amendments be made to the current Motor Vehicles and Road Traffic Act, Ch. 48:50. Additionally, the Ministry is proposing to have the Motor Vehicles and Road Traffic (Enforcement and Administration) Act, Ch. 48:52 repealed and anchored into the Motor Vehicles and Road Traffic Act, Ch. 48:50 in line with the approach adopted under the Motor Vehicle and Road Traffic Bill, 2016. Aligned with the consolidation of these two pieces of legislation, would be the incorporation of new legislative provisions for:
- New, convenient and flexible methods of payment for fixed penalties at any State Bank or online;
- The introduction of a “Notice of Contest”, where a driver wishes to contest a fixed penalty ticket before the Court;
- Imposition of non-conventional sanctions by the Court for non-payment of tickets, for example, a court order instructing the Licensing Authority to prohibit all transactions with the traffic offender until the fine for the fixed penalty violation has been paid in full; and
- The use of technology to provide seamless connectivity and real time information sharing of drivers’ records between the Licensing Authority, the Courts and the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS).