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Chaos at Traffic Court as hundreds of motorists try to clear outstanding tickets

By Halshane Burke 

Hundreds of motorists have braved the scorching sun and lengthy wait to clear outstanding traffic tickets on the penultimate day of the reprieve period and ahead of the February 1 implementation date for the new Road Traffic Act. 

The lines of people stretched as far as the eye could see along Melbourne Road and onto South Camp Road.

Police officers were kept busy as they attempted to maintain order while a crush of people gathered at the gate of the facility, eager to have their matter dealt with. 

Deputy Superintendent Linval Phoenix was forced to address the rowdy crowd in an attempt to calm frayed nerves.  

"Now, the system in and of itself, ladies and gentlemen, is not perfect, but they are working towards perfection. So therefore, I am imploring each and everyone of you, just please remain calm. Try to be orderly, follow the instructions of the police and we'll try to ensure that everyone will be dealt with," he told the crowd.

Up to midday, Deputy Commissioner of Police Clifford Blake was still on location, assessing the situation.

Stopping briefly to speak with Radio Jamaica News, DCP Blake said there had been a number of complaints reaching his office about the chaotic scenes at the Traffic Court.

He said he would have more information once an assessment of the issues was conducted.

Several of the motorists who spoke with Radio Jamaica News expressed frustration at the measures implemented to have the outstanding tickets cleared. 

One motorist, Phillip Curtis, suggested that it would have made more sense to use a bigger venue with several judges, to have the matters speedily dealt with. 

"Use di [National] Stadium, use Sabina Park, use places weh can accommodate crowd. Carry the judge dem deh. Doah even bother tell dem nuh court date; try dem one time," he proposed. 

Another motorist, who gave his name as Lewin, said he was not aware that he had outstanding tickets because he always made sure to clear his obligations. 

"Me is a man whe is a coward man when it comes to ticket and supm, so as mi get a ticket mi pay it, so mi nuh know weh this fah. And them run mi licence over and over pon di road and mi never see this yet," he lamented.  

The Court Administration Division has asked motorists who have paid tickets that are still showing as being in arrears to email their name, TRN and receipt, where possible, to service@cad.gov.jm.