Black Immigrant Daily News
One week after the new Road Traffic Act took effect, the National Road Safety Council (NRSC) will today, February 8, conduct its first weekly review of the legislation.
The reviews have been mandated by Prime Minister Andrew Holness, who is chairman of the NRSC.
Minister without portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister, Floyd Green, who has oversight responsibility for the NRSC, said “we will outline a process through which people can communicate; the Road Traffic Act is in force but as we go through the implementation phase we do expect that people may raise issues”.
“The Government will look at broad issues and at the appropriate time we (the NRSC) will make a report to Cabinet and then we will see if there are any amendments that are needed that will come to the House,” Green added.
He was speaking in the House of Representatives after Minister of Transport Audley Shaw had earlier announced that the Regulations governing the Road Traffic Act will be amended to remove the requirement for operators of public passenger vehicles to have child restraint systems for children 12 years old and younger, installed in their vehicles.
The government had promised the review after it received backlash from operators of public passenger vehicles and parents, who argued that the provision was not practical. Taxi operators had refused to transport parents with young children out of fear of being fined $5,000 as provided for in the legislation.
Green explained that “as you go through implementation, because this is a law that has new provisions and also as we have seen, there are longstanding provisions that are being implemented that unfortunately some people seem to be unaware of. Some of the challenges will not be seen until the law is in its implementation phase, where it is now”.
“When you go through the implementation phase, where issues are raised, we will look at it. Every issue raised doesn’t mean that there will be a change, but what we’re outlining is a process through which those issues can be addressed,” Green concluded.
Meanwhile, Shaw told the House that 25 tickets were issued for the breach during the period before the government announced last Friday that a review would take place.
The Jamaica Constabulary Force had announced earlier in the day that the police would use their discretion in the matter. Although it had been part of the old law, the requirement for child restraint systems in public passenger vehicles was not enforced.