Minister of National Security, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, says the new Smart Check E-Ticketing System will promote greater driver discipline on the roadways.
The e-ticketing application is to replace the existing manual traffic ticketing system used by the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).
With the impending passage of the New Road Traffic Act Regulations, Minister Chang said this, coupled with the E-Ticketing System, will provide a comprehensive framework for improved driver behaviour.
“I expect this to have a major impact on our roadways, as drivers realise they will be held accountable. When we started, we had to clear some 240,000 backlogged tickets in the court system, so the system is one that I expect will have a major impact on public order on our roadways,” he said.
The Minister was speaking with journalists during a tour of the Half-Way Tree area in Kingston to witness the use of the JCF’s pilot Smart Check E-Ticketing System, on Wednesday (January 12).
The system, which is designed to be a more efficient and accurate alternative to traditional written tickets, provides police officers with the ability to issue a printed ticket on the spot with information of the offence, fine, court date and other information.
Dr. Chang pointed out that noncompliance will result in written notice from the Island Traffic Authority (ITA) of the suspension of the driver’s licence for approximately six months to a year. Further noncompliance will result in arrest.
“The full impact is not an overnight activity. It is going to take time to get there for all the drivers to realise that they will be held accountable… . I give the system about nine months to have full impact on the public,” he said.
Dr. Chang noted that the system will be piloted in the Corporate Area over several months and that additional resources are to be acquired by the next financial year to facilitate islandwide expansion of the system.
The system allows police personnel to instantly check for outstanding traffic tickets, whether the motorist is a person of interest or wanted, as well as information pertaining to their fitness, registration, insurance and other personal data.
Meanwhile, Commissioner of Police, Major General Antony Anderson, said the initiative is part of the overall modernisation of the JCF.
“Public order and public safety are critical aspects of what we do and impact overall crime and crime figures when you have order. What this does for our officers is give them information at their fingertips…; that is a key component of effective modern law enforcement,” he emphasised.
For his part, Vice Chairman of the National Road Safety Council (NRSC), Dr. Lucien Jones, informed that road traffic fatalities are the second leading cause of violent deaths in Jamaica, with more than 400 persons killed last year in these incidents.
He expressed optimism that the new system will encourage compliance with road-safety parameters to reduce this number.
“Once you have safe road users who are complying with the law, who are driving at the legal speed, wearing seatbelts and wearing their helmets, then this astronomical rise in road deaths is going to go down,” he said.
The new system will facilitate greater coordination and collaboration for agencies that are involved with processing traffic tickets – the JCF, ITA, Tax Administration Jamaica, and the Courts.