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Senate passes amended Road Traffic Bill

Lambert Brown and Kamina Johnson Smith
 
The way is now clear for the implementation of new traffic laws in Jamaica.
 
The Senate on Friday afternoon passed the amended Road Traffic Bill with no change to a clause which caused taxi operators to strike for several days last month.
 
The concern of taxi operators relates to owners of vehicles being held liable for tickets issued for offences captured by a video camera.
 
As the Senate voted on the amendments, Opposition Senator Lambert Brown made a final appeal for a change to be made to the controversial clause. 
 
He suggested that the infringement be treated as a civil offence instead of criminal offence under the principle of vicarious liability since the operator would be "charged for an offence they didn't actually do themselves." 
 
However, his proposal was not approved by the Senate.
 
Earlier, Kamina Johnson Smith, Leader of Government Business in the Senate, indicated that the provision would remain and this position has been communicated to taxi associations. 
 
She argued that while taxi operators might not be happy with the provision, the measure has been successful in several countries, and so should also be successful in Jamaica. 
 
She added that other concerns of the taxi operators will be dealt with.
 
The new Road Traffic Act will not come into effect for another three months.
 
Senator Johnson Smith said this is to ensure the regulations are in place.
 


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