Stronger enforcement of traffic regulations including a crackdown on unpaid parking tickets is coming as Attorney General Steadroy Benjamin and new Transportation Minister Charles Fernandez decried lax adherence to road laws.
The two government ministers made their remarks during the budget debate in Parliament this week.
Speaking on Monday, Minister Fernandez revealed that there were $600,000 in unpaid traffic tickets which the government will be looking to retrieve through a series of measures.
Another initiative that Minister Fernandez revealed during the debate was a plan to “charge a fee for unregistered 20-foot and 40-foot flatbed chassis operating on the roadways and improve the driving and vehicle licence software”.
This was also noted by the Minister of Information Melford Nicholas who said last Thursday that upgrading the Transport Board’s online services was a priority for his ministry to ensure that people in both Antigua and Barbuda can renew their licences online.
Minister Fernandez also complained about the use of private vehicles for “picking up tourists and charging them fees”.
“And the biggest concern that I have is if one of these vehicles gets into an accident and a passenger gets hurt, you know who they are going to sue, they are going to sue the government because they are going to say that you allowed this to happen,” Minister Fernandez noted.
Minister Fernandez also revealed that a representative from the taxi association will serve on the Antigua and Barbuda Transport Board.
Yesterday, Attorney General Steadroy Benjamin disclosed that the government will designate official areas in the city for paid parking and disabled parking spaces within a month.
“We have had many complaints from the banks, from businesses, that because of how people park on the road, they are unable to get their parking spots.
“Parking will be paid for yearly…and persons who breach that will be charged,” he explained.
The Legal Affairs Minister also called on the public to obey the traffic laws, including proper use of the roundabout at the Sir Sydney Walling Highway, and not using cell phones while driving.
Several road accidents have occurred at the roundabout as motorists have been confused over how to use it since its introduction in 2019 during the road rehabilitation project.
Attorney General Benjamin reiterated that the Traffic Department will soon enforce its regulations on the books.(Newsco)