License suspension, seizure of vehicles for unpaid traffic tickets – Benn
Drivers who have not been paying their traffic tickets can have their driving privileges revoked and their vehicles seized.
This is according to Minister of Home Affairs Robeson Benn who spoke at the official launch of Road Safety Month on Wednesday in New Amsterdam, Region Six.
Minister Benn revealed that billions are currently owed in traffic tickets.
“There may be billions of dollars of unpaid traffic tickets and this is a matter which we have to link with the suspension of licenses and impound vehicles.
“It cannot be that persons are being repeatedly given a ticket on the road or at the station and will not pay the fine and continue to drive on the road,” Minister Benn said.
While he spoke about revoking licenses and impounding vehicles as ramifications for not paying traffic tickets, Minister Benn related that legislation will first have to be in place before this is implemented.
“We intend to increase the fines in relation to speeding, drinking and driving. Improve the amount of breathalysers which will be employed to reduce the question of drinking under the influence,” Minister Benn said.
Recently, the Traffic Department of the Guyana Police Force recorded a total of 52, 932 traffic offences with the e-ticketing system installed along the Mandela, Georgetown to Eccles, East Bank Demerara highway.
The offences were recorded between the period of October 1 – 21, 2022 and found 16, 453 drivers to be above the speed limit and 36, 479 drivers failed to wear seatbelts.
But none of the drivers will be prosecuted since there is no legislation in place to allow for the drivers to be fined electronically.
Guyanese had long proposed that the laws be changed to ensure that errant drivers face the possibility of also having their driver’s license suspended.
The Amendment Bill, currently before the National Assembly, for the Motor Vehicles and Road Traffic Act proposes more jail time, increased fines and also seeks the suspension of driver’s licenses for fatal drunk driving.
Meanwhile, Minister Benn further explained that the response measures to accident scenes must also be addressed and the aftercare for accident victims.
He related that the government’s $100,000 disability grant must also be extended to persons injured in accidents.
“We should take a clear database of these persons that we must make sure that those persons access that funding for the support they need for their aftercare and psychological care,” Minister Benn said.
The United Nations General Assembly has set an ambitious target of reducing the global number of deaths and injuries from road traffic crashes by 50 percent by 2030.
According to Minister Benn, Guyana’s ranking worldwide is at 63 in relation to road fatalities and as such Guyana has signed on to the UN 10-year target to reduce road fatalities by half.