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7-member tribunal in place as new Road Traffic Act takes effect Loop Jamaica

Black Immigrant Daily News

Motorists who feel aggrieved under the provisions of the new Road Traffic Act, 2018 will be able to appeal the decisions of the Island Traffic Authority (ITA) to a seven-member Road Traffic Appeal Tribunal.

“The members of the tribunal have been identified and approval granted for their appointment,” said Audley Shaw, the minister of transport and mining.

He was speaking Tuesday during a ministerial statement in the House of Representatives.

Shaw explained that the organisational structure of the ITA, which is now a statutory body, based on the new Road Traffic Act (RTA), will carry out several functions beyond the current ones.

Among other things, it will assume the high-level responsibility for traffic management, certification of driving instructors, and traffic/road safety statistics.

Shaw also said that motor vehicle owners and holders of drivers’ licences will have an obligation to provide updated contact information to the ITA. The ITA also sets out the thresholds of accumulated demerit points which will result in the suspension of a driver’s licence.

“The ITA is empowered to issue notices to carry out the suspension and execute the requirements under the RTA. Licences may be suspended for other reasons, in accordance with the process set out in the Act,” said Shaw.

“In addition to the physical address, email address and telephone number will be required so that contact can be made readily in the event that a notice is to be served on the person for any reason under the Act. Notices may be traffic tickets, notices of suspension, or directives to bring vehicles in for inspection,” Shaw stated.

The minister noted that with regard to the expungement of demerit points, all persons who were assigned such points on their drivers’ licence prior to February 1, 2023, “will have their points expunged to begin the new enforcement regime with a clean slate”.

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“Persons who have not cleared their matters prior, will still be required to attend court and address the tickets that are outstanding,” he said.

Meanwhile, Shaw stressed that there will now be increased penalties for traffic offences, as well as additional offences arising from the provisions in the new Act.

In this regard, motorcycle drivers are limited to carrying one passenger and driving on one wheel, “what we call “wheelie” is prohibited and all motorcycles must be sold with a helmet,” he said.

Additionally, a motorcycle learner must be accompanied by a licensed driver on another motorcycle within six metres and must not carry a pillion at any time or operate for commercial purposes.