Hike in traffic fines good—Arrive Alive

Trinidad Guardian

Tuesday, September 9, 2014
Police inspect a wrecked dump truck and Nissan B14 following an accident along the Churchill- Roosevelt Highway, Trincity, yesterday. Three people escaped with their lives after a dump truck hit the car from behind then landed on top it. PHOTO: ANDY HYPOLITE

Road safety NGO Arrive Alive has commended Finance Minister Larry Howai for his proposed 50 per cent increase in fines for driving offences. Contacted yesterday, the group’s president Sharon Inglefield said the increase would serve as a greater deterrent to errant drivers and likely reduce reckless driving. But while Inglefield applauded the initiatives, she said more needed to be done to address dangerous driving and road fatalities.“There is a lot more to road safety than just fines,” Inglefield said, suggesting a rigorous road safety plan and policy were needed.  “This plan should include, for example, speed management laws and a new motor vehicle authority, as well as an audit of our road infrastructure,” Inglefield said.

She also said safe driving education was of paramount importance. In a telephone interview yesterday, secretary of the Police Social and Welfare Association Insp Michael Seales said his organisation also supported the initiative, describing it as a “welcome step.” “When you look at what fines are meant to do, you would see that it is meant as a deterrent and in the context it would save lives. “The increase would also go back to paying public servants and increasing government revenue so it will also be a beneficial thing for the public,” Seales said.

In his 2015 budget presentation, Howai announced the increase in fines for:
• Speeding.
• Driving under the influence.
• Driving without insurance.
• Possessing fraudulent motor vehicle certificates.
• Driving with an expired driving licence.
• For individuals producing or selling fraudulent licences.

Offence Current Fine New Fine 
Speeding $4,000 $6,000
Driving with an expired licence $1,000 $1,500
Driving without insurance  $1,000 $1,500
Driving under influence of alcohol up to $8,000 up to $12,000

Posted on September 9, 2014 in Local News

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