Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite thinks that fixed traffic fines should have been stipulated in the Road Traffic (Amendment) Act 2017 that was passed in the House of Assembly today.
Contributing this afternoon to the second day of debate on the Bill, Brathwaite said that pre-set fines for traffic offences would have enabled offending motorists to quickly pay their monies and get on with their daily lives, instead of having to join long queues waiting on their cases to be called at the magistrate’s court.
“The whole issue of ticketing . . . of why are we at this stage in 2017 still wasting the court’s time in matters that could be dealt with via fixed penalties?” he said, while pointing out that “a chap might have to leave a day’s work, go and sit down at the District ‘C’ or District ‘D’ almost for a whole day to pay a fine for $150 or $200 or whatever the fine is.”
He said apart from lost production time, there was the judicial time used up in processing the traffic cases.
“It must be worth it,” he insisted, adding that “whether you use the demerit system for a person to be fined, they [should know immediately] what the fine is and have the ability to go and pay the fine.”
He contended that the cost of getting the Ministry of Transport and Works and the Royal Barbados Police Force together to make fixed fines work would be worth it.
“We need to find a way of doing it, and doing it with haste . . . . the revenue collected will pay for itself,” he said, adding that, “you can even use some of that revenue to have cameras placed across [the island]. You don’t have to bother going and looking for them. The cameras will capture them when they are speeding, automatically”.