| Mar 29, 2023

Over 66,000 traffic tickets issued since February

/ Our Today

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Members of the Public Safety and Traffic Enforcement Branch (PSTEB) utilising the e-Ticketing System in Half-Way-Tree, St Andrew on January 12, 2022. (OUR TODAY photo)

Since the start of the revised Road Traffic Act on February 1 some 66,428 tickets have been issued for violations under the new regulations.

Of this number, payment was made for 27,617 at the various Tax Collectorates across the island, 246 were settled in the Courts and 5,511 will likely require the issuance of warrants in the short-term.

Minister of justice Delroy Chuck disclosed the numbers in parliament yesterday (March 28).

He explained that the remaining 33,054 matters generated over the last 55 days have still not been brought before the courts, along with the approximately 981,921 unpaid tickets issued up to January 31, 2023.  

Chuck announced last week Friday that the Government would be moving forward with the electronic issuance of warrants to motorists with outstanding tickets.

Minister of Justice Delroy Chuck

While speaking in Parliament yesterday, he also put forward a bill to bring into practice the utilisation of electronic signatures as a means of authenticating warrants generated electronically in the justice system and the recognition of electronic documents/records as records of the court.

The minister noted that “the monumental task facing the court if reliance is placed on warrants issued by handwriting, cannot be discounted.”

As such, he stated that the Government is moving to use technology to assist in aid in faster movement of cases through the traffic courts,

Faster movement of cases

The use of electronic signatures is not a novel proposition and is currently being done in other jurisdictions said Chuck. He noted that countries such as the United States, Rwanda, and Scotland to facilitate the use of electronic signatures that are affixed through a secure process approved by the court and governed by legislation.

A smart android device and portable printer that will be carried by traffic police in the Corporate Area to will facilitate the electronic issuance of traffic tickets, among other things.

The minister further explained that “the electronic signature is then represented as a digitized image of the handwritten signature and the documents signed in this manner, usually carry the same force and effect as if the judge had affixed his or her signature to a paper copy of the document. Our ultimate goal Madam Speaker is to maximise efficiency in the processes used by the courts, without compromising the integrity and safety that currently exists, where warrants are signed by hand”.

For electronic signatures to be accepted, used and trusted by the various stakeholders, specific safeguards will be introduced in order to prevent unauthorized use of the electronic versions of the signatures of the Judges of the Parish Courts. 

The justice minister assured that, “the security risks associated with the use of electronic signatures, such as fraud, through the unauthorized use of an electronic signature, would be mitigated through the establishment and maintenance of a stable and controlled environment, supported by the requisite safeguards and fit-for-purpose infrastructure, as well as the training of the users interfacing directly with the system. These efforts, will increase the levels of trust and acceptance in this process by the stakeholders in the justice system“.

During this current quarter 60,096 new cases were filed in the traffic division of the parish courts across the island, of which only 12,191 or just over 20 per cent were disposed of.

With the vast majority of these cases requiring the issuance of a warrant, Chuck indicated that “the sheer volume of the documents required creates an unwieldly and untenable situation in the island’s courts, as the demand for the timely execution of the process, outstrips the available human resource capacity. The unfortunate reality Madam Speaker is that the existing process used in the courts to generate warrants is not sufficiently expedient to meet its current needs and requires an appropriate and immediate fix, namely the ability for Judges to utilize an electronic signature in the issuance of warrants”.

READ: Electronic issuance of traffic ticket warrants on the horizon


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