Abigaye Gayle was a picture of anxiety yesterday as she and other motorists stood in a queue outside the Clarendon Parish Court, waiting to settle outstanding traffic tickets.
This was ahead of the New Road Traffic Act which came into effect today. Gayle, a carpenter from St Elizabeth, rued the lengthy wait and the adverse impact on her business.
"I can't work for the whole day and I have a lot of work to do, so this really impacts me financially. It is very hectic. It is very ridiculous, because I have to leave from here and go to the other courthouse in Black River to pay the other ticket. They could have let us pay at one location," said Gayle. Gayle later told THE STAR that she left the courthouse at 8:28 p.m. The 24-year-old, who travels islandwide for work, said that on the day she was ticketed in Clarendon for speeding, she had just finished a job in Old Harbour, St Catherine. After being slapped with two tickets last year, Gayle said she has since been driving more carefully.
"I cut my speed and my papers are always straight, and I just do a regular check up on the car," she said. Despite lamenting the lengthy wait, Odaine Wilson, a commercial vehicle operator from St Catherine took full responsibility for his shortcomings. He said that he was fined $800 last year for not having a weight load indication affixed to his vehicle. His argument that his vehicle was undergoing repairs and was set to be sprayed brought no sympathy.
"The police was saying I should have even put it on the glass or somewhere you can see it," said Wilson. After waiting for four hours, Wilson left the courthouse, stating that he would return the following day.
"I think mi could a just pay at the courthouse [in St Catherine,] but this is a long time decision for them...any weh yuh duh the crime, yuh pay the fine. A di system, an' it nah change," he said, adding that the circumstances have taught him a valuable lesson.
"Just do di right ting. Mek sure you vehicle roadworthy, make sure your vehicle fit, make sure you have on good tyre, so when them look pan it them nuh have nutten fi sey," said Wilson.