Advertisement
JIS News

Amendments to the Motor Vehicle Insurance Act are now being drafted to make provisions for insurance companies to provide compensation for the repair of “road furniture or road assets” in the event of accidents.
Speaking at a recent JIS Think Tank, Minister of Transport and Works, Robert Pickersgill said that, “reckless and careless driving” were the primary causes of damage to road furniture and assets.The Minister further stated that, “when road furniture such as bridges, light posts and signs were dismantled, it is the National Works Agency’s (NWA) or taxpayers’ money that has to put them back up.” He emphasized that this practice had to be discontinued, hence the move to amend the Act.
Road furniture is defined in the Bill as “any railing, curb wall, barrier, guide, mile post, direction post, traffic sign or traffic signal, on any road.”
Elaborating, Legal Officer at the Ministry of Transport and Works, Yvonne Barnett-Russell told JIS News that “a new section 6A is being inserted in the Act to allow for the police and insurer to supply information of the damage caused to the road furniture to the relevant authority, namely the NWA in the case of a main road or the KSAC (Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation) or parish council in the case of a parochial road.”
The current Act requires a chief officer of police to provide information to a hospital as to the identification of a motor vehicle involved in the accident and the insurer’s name and address.
Mrs. Barnett-Russell further explained that on receipt of the relevant information, an inspection and assessment would be carried out with a view to making a claim on the insurer for the damage done. The insurer will then be liable to pay an amount not exceeding the limit to which the motor vehicle is insured.
The Bill further states, that an insurer who contravenes the provision of the law shall be liable on summary conviction before a Resident Magistrate, to a fine. Furthermore, she continued, an insurer who understates to the relevant authority, the limit to which a person has insured the motor vehicle, which caused damage to road furniture, shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on summary conviction before a Resident Magistrate, to a fine.
The Legal Officer pointed out that the Bill was still in the draft stage and the Ministry was awaiting further comments before it is forwarded to the Chief Parliamentary Counsel for final drafting before being tabled in Parliament.