A motion proposing the re-examination of the driver’s licencing system has been referred to a Special Select Committee for further review.
The motion, which was tabled by Government Senator, Imani Duncan-Price in the Upper House on Thursday May 3, questioned the integrity of the current system, in particular the process and qualifications required for an applicant to successfully obtain a valid licence.
"There is widespread doubt concerning the integrity of the system by which drivers' licences are issued in Jamaica,” Senator Duncan-Price said.
She argued that too often, licences are issued to persons, who have not done a driving test and to individuals, who are challenged in terms of literacy, many of whom are not efficient at interpreting the road code.
"Licences are also issued to individuals to allow them to drive a much heavier type of motor vehicle than the one they were examined for. This (belief) is continually strengthened by the chaotic driving that is witnessed all too often on our roadways, causing untold discomfort, mayhem and death,” Senator Duncan-Price stated.
The motion also put forward a number of recommendations to be implemented within the short to medium-term, including that “demerit points for violations above a material threshold are noted in the system so that significant repeat offenders can have their licences revoked temporarily until they re-sit the test and display knowledge of and respect for the road code”.
Senator Duncan-Price also recommended that urgent attention is given to the obvious control problems within the licencing regime, as well as to missing data, discrepancies in the ages of some licencees, and inconsistent and invalid data.
The members of the Committee will be named at a later date.
By Athaliah Reynolds-Baker, JIS Reporter