Take careful note of the new traffic fines:
1. Obstructing a traffic warden on duty: $10,000 fine and/or six months in prison (fine raised from $300 to $10,000)
2. Caught speeding by traffic cameras: $7,000 (new fine)
3. Drag racing on highways without the consent of the Commissioner of Police: $6,000 (fine raised from $2,000 to $6,000)
4. Driving without a driver's permit: $1,500
5. Driving without a seatbelt: maximum fine $8,000
6. Driving with a child under the age of five without a car seat: $4,000
These are but a few of the new fines
The red light camera system will be enforced. This is different from and is in addition to the speed guns
These cameras will be attached to all traffic lights
Also, the lowly traffic warden who most of us has largely ignored over time will now have the power to impose heavy fines
The demerit points system will also be in place. Traffic violations registered against you will eventually lead to your permit being revoked
Online applications for drivers permit renewals also coming soon.UPDATE: AS THE LICENSE DEMERIT POINTS SYSTEM IS SET TO START on Tuesday, May 26th 2020, following is a Guide to Understanding the Demerit Points System.
1) WHAT IS THE DEMERIT POINTS SYSTEM?
The Motor Vehicles and Road Traffic Act was amended in 2017, and brought the Judiciary, representatives of the Ministry of Works and Transport, the Office of the Attorney General and Ministry of Legal Affairs, the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service, TTPost and other stakeholders into a collaborative working relationship, to implement a new traffic system.
The Demerit Points System – utilised to monitor, track and improve the road behaviour of drivers, was conceived and implemented as a part of this transformative traffic system.Demerit Points for Traffic Violations and Offenses.
2) WHY DO WE NEED THE DEMERIT POINTS SYSTEM?
The System is securely and confidentially managed through an Electronic Demerit Points Register on the U-Turn Software Management System.
The U-Turn System is maintained and monitored for efficiency and effective operation by highly trained personnel in the Traffic Enforcement Centre (TEC).
The TEC plays a pivotal role within the demerit point system, by digitally sharing real time information with all the stakeholder agencies involved in road traffic law enforcement.
This relationship, along with the demerit points system, seeks to foster safer roadways through:
The prevention and deterrence of high-risk driving behaviour;
The detection of repeat or frequent offenders by calculating demerit points and notification of driving permit suspensions; and
The reforming of repeat offenders through a rehabilitative driving programme and re-siting the driving test.
3) HOW DOES THE DEMERIT POINTS SYSTEM AFFECT ME AS A DRIVER?
Every driver starts with zero (0) demerit points on his/her driving permit record.
The vast majority of the traffic offenses and violations form part of the Traffic Ticketing System and the Demerit Points System.
Demerit points are placed on a person’s driving permit record only after payment of a Traffic Ticket.
Failure to pay the Traffic Ticket and/or contest the Traffic Ticket within the prescribed time frame; or conviction before a court for a traffic violation or offence that carries demerit points, will result in demerit points being placed on a person’s driving permit record.
Demerit Points will stay on your record for a maximum of two (2) years.
Once two (2) consecutive years have passed without the driver accumulating additional demerit points, these points will automatically be removed from his/her driving permit record.
If a driver reaches their maximum threshold of demerit points according to the law, he or she can be disqualified from driving for a specified period.
For the purpose of administering demerit points and disqualification periods, there is a distinction between:A newly licensed driver or provisional permit holder (an individual who holds their driving permit for a period of twelve (12) months or less from the date of issue).
An experienced driver (an individual who holds their driving permit for a period of more than twelve (12) months from the date of issue).
4) HOW DOES THE DEMERIT POINTS SYSTEM WORK?
Demerit points are electronically calculated and recorded on driving permit records.
Everyone starts with zero (0) demerit points on their driving permit record.
A person can accumulate demerit points on their driving permit record, for committing certain traffic violations and offences which carry demerit points.
The more traffic violations or offences that are committed – such as speeding, unauthorised use of the Priority Bus Route, or Driving Under the Influence of alcohol (DUI), the more demerit points that are electronically accumulated on a person’s driving permit record.
Depending on the total amount of demerit points accumulated within a specified period, this could result in the suspension of a person’s driver’s permit, as well as other consequences.
5) DISQUALIFICATION PROCESS FOR DRIVING PERMITS.
If you accumulate or exceed the threshold of demerit points and are subject to disqualification, the Licensing Authority will notify you in writing prior to disqualification.
Once you receive this notification of impending disqualification, you can explain in writing to the Licensing Authority, why your driving permit should not be suspended.
Where you fail to show good reasons, the Licensing Authority will inform you of the disqualification. The disqualification will take effect fourteen (14) days after the date of the notice.
You will then be required to surrender your driving permit to the Licensing Authority, according to the instructions given in the notification letter [Step 1].
Failure to surrender your driving permit to the Licensing Authority is an offence that carries a fine of Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00) and further disqualification for an additional period of one (1) year.
A driving permit disqualified by the Licensing Authority during the period of suspension, will be invalid. You are committing an offense if you drive while your driving permit has been suspended.
When the disqualification period expires, all demerit points recorded against your driving permit record will be expunged or removed.
6) CONTESTING YOUR DISQUALIFICATION
The Licensing Authority is required to specify when suspension will occur, not less than fourteen (14) days after the date of the notice. A person who is disqualified from holding or obtaining a driving permit may appeal to a Court within fourteen (14) days of the receipt of the notice.
7) REGAINING YOUR DRIVING PERMIT AFTER DISQUALIFICATION.
At the end of their disqualification period, to regain permission to drive, a driver must go into the Licensing Authority and file an application to be issued a driving permit.
They are then required to undertake the following actions:
Participate in a driver’s rehabilitation programme approved by the Licensing Authority. This can be defensive driving or some other accredited programme similar in nature.
Re-sit and pass a driving test and regulation examination.
Pay the prescribed fee for the re-issue of the driving permit.
EXPUNGED DEMERIT POINTS
- Demerit Points will remain on the record of a driver for a maximum of two (2) years.
- After two (2) consecutive years have passed without the driver accumulating additional points, the existing number of demerit points will automatically be expunged or removed from his/her driving permit record, therefore returning the driver’s record to zero.
- Demerit points are expunged from a driver’s driving permit record under two conditions:
- The expiration of the disqualification period; or
Maintaining good driving behaviour for a period of two (2) consecutive years.
Please see the table below for a listing of traffic violations and offenses that carry Demerit Points under the Ninth Schedule under the Motor Vehicles and Road Traffic Act.
Expunged Demerit Points
Demerit Points will remain on the record of a driver for a maximum of two (2) years. After two (2) consecutive years have passed without the driver accumulating additional points, the existing number of demerit points will automatically be expunged or removed from his/her driving permit record, therefore returning the driver’s record to zero.
Demerit points are expunged from a driver’s driving permit record under two conditions:
The expiration of the disqualification period; or
Maintaining good driving behaviour for a period of two (2) consecutive years.
Note: There are no demerit points for traffic violations detected by automated cameras e.g. red-light and spot speed cameras. The Honourable Faris Al-Rawi, M.P., Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs says, "the Motor Vehicles and Road Traffic Act, include the introduction of spot speed, the introduction of RF tag IDs, the tintometer and all number plates in Trinidad and Tobago which will be changed out and a tag will go into it, so that on the road, the police will know where you have passed."
Courtesy - the Ministry of Works and Transport
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