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Ministry of Works & Transport

The Amendments to the MVRT Act Chpt 48 50 - Coming Soon

The Amendments to the MVRT Act Chpt 48 50 - Coming Soon Printable Version


                                                                            ( Coming Soon):                 

              The Implementation of the

Amendments to the Motor Vehicles and Road Traffic Act Chapter 48:50 
       Project Status: Operationalization Mode

The amended legislation will see the total transformation of the Motor vehicle and Road Traffic Laws through the introduction of key elements which are supported by Information Communication Technology that will inevitably change the driving culture in Trinidad and Tobago. These elements are as follows:-The Red-Light Camera System, Spot Speed Camera Enforcement System, Demerit Points System, the Reform of the Fixed Penalty Ticketing System Transformation of Licensing Authority and the New Licence Plate System.

These new systems play a crucial role in the fight against lawlessness, crime and corruption in Trinidad and Tobago as well as ensure the safety and well-being of all citizens.

1. Traffic Violations

A traffic violation can be defined as a traffic offence or an infraction or breach of the traffic laws. Currently, a large number of the offences under the Act are currently are categorised as offences. The proposed change will now categorise them as traffic violations.

2. Red-Light Camera System

This system which has been in the Pilot Stage for some time will witness for the first time in this country a process of automated camera enforcement on our roadways. In other words, whenever a red light camera  is installed by a traffic light intersection, the photographs or recordings captured by the red light will be used as evidence of the breach. This will generate a citation notice which carries a specific fine and other data collected from the system. The citation notice will be mailed out to the registered owner(s) of the vehicle, who shall have responsibility to pay the said stipulated fine.

3. Spot Speed Camera Enforcement System

Legislation for the introduction of a Spot Speed Radar Camera System is being finalized for early introduction in Parliament. This legislation will create the legal framework for the use of stand-alone and mobile camera technology that has the capacity to measure the speed of vehicles. This technology will be an additional technological feature that will be used to enforce the speed limit laws on the nation's roads. Needless to say, the technology does not rely on the presence of law enforcement officers for speed detection. The system will be connected to a main traffic enforcement office where the data will be processed by trained personnel almost in real time to determine whether a citation notice should be issued for any violation. This system will operate on a technological platform similar to the red light camera system.

4. A Demerit Points System

A system of awarding penalty points against a person for the commission of an offences and traffic violations under this Act or Enforcement and Administration Act or the Regulations made under both pieces of legislations. This change in the law was introduced via Act 21 of 2003. However, no Regulations were enacted to give effect to the Penalty Points System. The points will be accumulated on one’s Driver’s Permit Record.

In other words, the proposed introduction of the Demerit Points System will see certain traffic offences and traffic violations carrying prescribed demerit points, in addition to other stipulated penalties. The proposed points to be allotted for every violation will be in keeping with international standards for similar type offences and will be accumulated on one’s driving permit record which can lead to one disqualified from being in possession of a driver’s permit for a period of time. The system proposes to equip the Licensing Authority with the requisite information and empirical data, to exercise its new statutory powers to suspend the driving permit of a habitually errant driver.

Additionally, the Demerit Points System will see the rehabilitation of habitual road offenders by ensuring that they participate in a mandatory Drivers’ Rehabilitation Programme before being re-issued the permission to drive. The rehabilitation programme will be specifically tailored to address identified shortcomings of each driver.

5. The Reform of the Fixed Penalty Ticketing System

The Reform of the Fixed Penalty System includes the introduction of key improvements to the traffic ticketing system (fixed penalty system). Drivers who are issued a Fixed Penalty Notice, commonly known as a traffic ticket will have the option of going to numerous approved places throughout the country to pay their fines as opposed to the Courts. This is a major improvement to what currently exists where a ticketed driver is required to go to the Magistrates' Court in the district in which the ticket was issued to pay the fine. This has resulted in thousands of unpaid tickets in Trinidad and Tobago which has caused a major backlog of traffic cases in the Courts.

The new initiative will introduce a system of granting ticketed offenders an opportunity to file a 'Notice to Contest' in the event they wish to query the issuance of the ticket by the law enforcement officer. If a Notice to Contest is not filed, the ticketed driver is bound to pay the fine or risk cancellation of his permit after a period of time has elapsed.

Non-payment of a traffic ticket will now have adverse consequences upon road offenders. After the stipulated period of time has passed and the ticket remains unpaid the fine will further escalate to a maximum additional amount of 25% and a further 5o%.The Licensing Authority will have the power to suspend the permit of the driver and to refuse conducting any transaction with the driver until the amount outstanding on the ticket is fully paid. The new system will also facilitate online payments of tickets and other modern conveniences.

6. Transformation of the Licensing Authority

The creation of a Motor Vehicles Authority will provide the appropriate legal framework to strengthen the Licensing Division in order to function in a 21St century environment, using the best information technology resources available to register motor vehicles and offer modern online services for the benefit of citizens.

A new and modernised system will combat endemic corruption in this sector and guarantee the reliability of records and other pertinent data. A strong Information Communication Technology (ICT) approach at the licensing Division will facilitate better collaboration with law enforcement agencies in the fight against crime and criminal activities not only in Trinidad and Tobago but regionally and internationally.

The introduction of the following systems is proof that the transformation of the Licensing Authority in coming to life:-

*Vehicle Online Validation System

*Drivers Permit Verification System

7. New Licence Plate System

A proposed new Licence Plate System that will carry Radio - Frequency Identification (RFID) features for the tagging of motor vehicles for effective traffic management purposes will be implemented under the amended Act. Each licence plate will carry unique RFID features linked to the motor vehicle. This will assist law enforcement officers in the efficient investigation of crimes involving the use of motor vehicles as well as the illegal manufacture of licence plates for criminal purposes.

Keep abreast of the updates of the Amendments to the Motor Vehicle and Road Traffic Act Chapter 48: 50 that will be posted on the Ministry of Works and Transport's social media pages .

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