Thursday, 17 November 2022 12:08

Warmington condemns taxi operators' strike - blasts call for traffic ticket amnesty

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Government minister Everald Warmington has condemned the protest action taken by public passenger vehicle operators which earlier this week left scores of Jamaicans stranded.

On Monday and again on Tuesday, operators across Jamaica withdrew their services as they demanded a traffic ticket amnesty from the government.

Warmington, who is Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation with Responsibility for Works, said that he would not support delinquent drivers who have amassed several traffic tickets and who now want a reprieve from the government.

“The question I want to ask, if you don't pay your light bill don't JPS [Jamaica Public Service Company] cut off the light? If you don't pay your water bill don't NWC [ National Water Commission] cut off your water? No so it go?” he questioned.  

“So, if you run up the tickets carelessly, why not pay it? Why do you need amnesty to pay your ticket and payment plan? I am not into that,” he asserted. 

“Look man, you can't inconvenience the students going to school because you are delinquent,” he added. 

On Monday, in response to the protest by transport operators, the Government stated that it would not tolerate lawlessness and urged drivers to pay their outstanding traffic tickets. 

According to Egeton Newman, head of the Transport Operators Development Sustainable Services (TODSS), the association met with Transport Minister Audley Shaw and representatives of the Transport Authority, the Island Traffic Authority, and the Road Safety Unit regarding a payment plan for outstanding tickets. 

The cab drivers and bus operators returned to work on Wednesday as a result.  

“We had a very good discussion. We put our concerns on the table and we heard from the government officials and we were asked to put a proposal together, in terms of a payment plan, to pay our outstanding tickets, and present it to the ministry tomorrow (Wednesday) to be taken to Cabinet on Monday, and we have agreed,” Newman said.