Magistrate Graveney Bannister today gave a first-time traffic offender the maximum amount of community service and believes that the law should be amended to allow for an increase of those hours.
He made the comments as he ordered Rasheed Kamalh Prescod, of 95A Valarie, Upper Collymore Rock, St Michael to perform 240 hours for exceeding the speed limit, not having two lamps showing at the rear of the vehicle he was driving, failure to produce identification, giving a false name and address to police and having no driver’s licence.
Sergeant Kevin Forde said police were conducting traffic checks on August 30 when they clocked Prescod driving at 106 kilometres per hour along the Barrow section of the ABC Highway and having no rear lights around 10:15 p.m.
He was pulled over and when his name and address were requested he responded, “Damian Hinkson of Pavilion Road, Bank Hall, St Michael.” He was then asked for his driver’s licence or proof of identification but said he did not have any.
However, investigations revealed he had given the wrong name and address and was not the holder of a driver’s licence.
“I give you the name of a man I know got licence, I being straight,” he allegedly told police when he was found out.
In addressing Prescod who was represented by attorney-at-law Mohia Ma’at, the District ‘A’ Traffic Court magistrate made it clear that the accused was “doing foolishness” and hoped that that he had learned his lesson.
He also pointed out that “some people” felt that because a traffic offence was not a criminal offence then “it was alright”.
“This thing is so egregious that I have to give you the maximum amount of hours,” Bannister told Prescod as he imposed the sentence.
“It’s a shame that we cannot give more than 240 hours. It would be better if the court was able to give up to 1,000 hours to some of these people and remove the consent aspect of the legislation where a person must consent. That way a lot more cases will get cleared up . . . a lot more people would plead guilty to criminal and other matters . . . I have said that for the past eight years,” the magistrate explained before giving Prescod a January 31 date to return before the traffic court.