Works and Transport Minister Rohan Sinanan has assured that the state is ready for the full rollout of the demerit point system and made it clear that there will be no further extensions.
The system was supposed to take effect on March 2, 2020, after being launched on January 22, 2020.
However, the minister said on March 1 that the proclamation would instead take place one month later, April 2, 2020.
Speaking at the post-Cabinet news conference yesterday, Sinanan rejected an editorial in a daily newspaper that criticised him for the handling of the implementation process.
“I just want to debunk that editorial which tried to suggest that we were not prepared and we went ahead and launched,” he said.
Instead, he explained that the decision to pre-empt the proclamation was strategic due to positive public reception of the new laws.
“The reason for the delay in the proclamation is because of the success that we are seeing and the comfort that we are getting where the citizens are actually coming into licensing office.
“We have actually had to beef up the staff at licensing office to keep up with the amount of transactions that are taking place,” Sinanan added.
He sought to remove all doubt that the system was not ready.
“The devices are out there, the platform is ready and we are very comfortable as to where we are right now.”
In fact, the minister said in the meantime the new devices are being used and people are still being charged under the old system and there have already been successes.
“We have already started to pick up stolen vehicles and people have been charged.
“Within half an hour of using these devices we were able to stolen vehicles on the road.”
He said from April 2, officers will begin to deduct demerit points from offending motorists.
Also addressing the matter was Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi.
He said more laws are coming to treat with offences as it relates to the nation’s roads.
“I should tell you that we have in Parliament right now and we are going to be debating within a matter of a week or so the further amendments to the Motor Vehicle and Road Traffic Act, which are the introduction of spot speed, the introduction of RF tag id’s, the tintometer,” the AG explained.
He said with the RF tag system, all number plates in Trinidad and Tobago will be changed out and a tag will go into it so that on the road the police will know where you have passed.
He described it as a “massive crime-fighting technique.”