UTurn Portal

A Brief History
  • At the time of publication, 60.4% of all cases filed at the Magistrates’ Courts were Traffic cases.
  • Traffic cases filed over the 2018-2019 law term (September 2018 to June 2019) stood at 85,187 new cases, with over 19,000 of those cases (20.2% of all matters, and the largest share) filed at the Port of Spain Magistrates’ Court.
  • Under the law at that time, when a police officer or other designated authority issued a Fixed PenaltyTraffic Ticket, the Ticket indicated the fine for the offence, and that fine had to be paid at the courthouse within the district where the alleged offence occurred.
  • In the event of default of payment, a date was given for the alleged offender to appear before the Traffic Court, again within the said district.
  • As a result of the inconvenience to drivers, court lists were saturated with traffic cases due to unpaid tickets, and those cases continue to clog the system with backlog, due to non appearance of drivers at court.
  • Additionally, this system meant that the Courts had the responsibility of collecting and processing traffic related payments on behalf of the state.
Legislative Amendment
  • In 2017, the Motor Vehicles and Road Traffic Act (Amendment) was enacted, and the Judiciary entered into a collaborative working relationship with a team comprising representatives of the Ministry of Works and Transport, the Office of the Attorney General and Ministry of Legal Affairs, the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service, TTPost and other stakeholders, to implement a new traffic system.
  • Under the new legislation, matters will only reach the court’s list when a motorist decides to contest a Ticket or charge, and files a Notice to Contest. This allows the Judiciary to concentrate on its core function, which is adjudicating where disputes arise.

Introduction of the UTurn Software

  • The UTurn software provides real time connectivity among the Judiciary, the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service, the Licensing Authority, TTPost and the new Traffic Management Center.
  • The interface allows a motorist to file a Notice to Contest on-line, upon answering three short questions.
  • This triggers scheduling of the matter on the court’s list, and the motorist receives a court date and location, as well as a video conferencing link if it is required.
  • Upon completion of a matter, the perfected court order will be dispatched from our court case management system via the UTurn interface, to the Traffic Enforcement Center.
Widespread Benefits
  • Customers will no longer have to endure the inconvenience of possibly taking time off from work to go back to the district where the offence alleged occurred, as they can pay their fines at any TTPost location.
  • They can also file their Notice to Contest from any location on-line.
  • The court system benefits by only having to deal with matters where a genuine dispute arises.
  • Evidence and all supporting documents are now securely transmitted through a secured link, between and among the respective agencies.