Fri | Dec 2, 2022

Fix the system

Published:Thursday | November 24, 2022 | 12:06 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

Any system that is not properly managed opens itself up to corruption and chaos. The recent protest by public passenger operators for an amnesty on traffic tickets highlighted one side of the story.

It is that of which drivers who have been ticketed for numerous offences have not been paying for the tickets or challenging them in the courts.

It shows a disregard on their part and the public was urged not to succumb to their request for empathy while the Government remained resolved to bringing the heavy arm of the law to bear on them.

Whenever complaints of the system arose, the Government simple brushed it aside with the promise that they were working to improve the system.

What are they doing though to improve the system? Is this just another one of those empty promises similar to that of ‘sleeping at nights with our doors opened’?

I checked the system and found that I had an outstanding ticket for which I had spent an entire day at court years ago. When the matter had been called up then, the clerk of court instructed me to be silent while he spoke to the judge and asked him to dismiss the matter.

THE CONNECTION

The judge yielded to his advice and the matter was thrown out.

But now I have had to go back through a series of steps to get before a judge again in relation to the matter. Having got the printout of the ticket, I took it the St Catherine Parish Court office where someone took it and told me that I should wait for someone to call me and give me a court date.

As I left the office, someone approached me to say that there is a station set up where I could pay my tickets at the tax office regardless of whether that time had passed or not. I did not venture down the path so I do not know the validity. However, I know he was right there in the vicinity of the courts soliciting something that, on the face of it, appeared illegal.

He did not know who I was, but he was bold enough to approach me.

I wonder about the connection with the inside as he informed me further that I would not be called. I recall that on entering, the person at the door told me that I needed to make copies of the printout and pointed me in the direction that the man said the ‘tax office’ was.

It was a tempting proposition as I have heard stories of persons who present their receipts of paid traffic tickets only to be told that they, too, had to go through the rigours of arranging to go before a judge.

We all know that these matters are all-day events. Should the Government not be held to a higher standard even as it seeks to hold the people to a higher standard?

Fix the system. It is critical and imperative that you lead from the front. Even if you get away with tardiness now as you call us to book, I can assure you that you, too, will be called to book. And it may be sooner than you imagine.

MARK CLARKE