Friday, 10 March 2023 10:14

New traffic regulations yielding good results – ACP McKenzie

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Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Gary McKenzie, head of the police’s Public Safety and Traffic Enforcement Branch (PSTMB), says he has seen an improvement in the behaviour of the motoring public since the implementation of the new Transport Authority regulations, and he thinks the electronic surveillance system, which will detect breaches in areas not manned by police, will further improve the situation when it comes on stream.

“There are encouraging signs, but there are still some things that are to get going,” McKenzie said. “We are currently in the review period and there are a number of adjustments that are being contemplated, but we are headed in the right direction.”

According to McKenzie, the Transport Authority regulations will complement aspects of the new Road Traffic Act, which is currently under review after a public outcry against some of the stipulations.

“We are also fine-tuning other aspects of the regulations,” continued McKenzie. “And there are other aspects that we expect to come on stream over time, to include how we issue driver’s licences.”

The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) membership is currently being stretched thin in its efforts to combat the ongoing lawlessness, which at times results in some sensitive areas being left without police presence. He nonetheless noted that drivers who disobey the traffic lights at intersections will not escape prosecution, as the new electronic surveillance system will capture the action of each motorist.

“You will be getting your tickets in your mail each time you disobey the laws of the land. Even if you are not stopped by police personnel, you will have nowhere to hide,” said McKenzie.

Last year, Audley Shaw, minister of transport and works, announced the implementation of the electronic, or e-ticketing, system which is to be implemented under the new Road Traffic Act.

The surveillance system will allow for remote detection of offences, and ticketing, using cameras and other electronic devices, which are expected to capture traffic offenders who speed, disobey traffic signals, and operate vehicles not licensed, insured, or certified as fit.

Where traffic offences are detected, the owner of the vehicle will be ticketed via the mail.

“There is always limitation with resources. And while we always wish we had more personnel ... we are confident that the input of technology will help us,” noted McKenzie.

The issue of spaces for public passenger vehicles to terminate in the metropolitan area and Montego Bay, St James, continues to be a major concern for the police, who are hoping that the local authority in both cities will find a solution soon.

“I know that the matter is a major concern and is a subject of ongoing discussions, but we are hoping that those plans can be a reality far quicker, to make the work of the police much easier,” added McKenzie.