There have been many attempts over the years to have motorists settle overdue and unpaid traffic tickets. These tickets are supposed to be paid before a due date at the tax office, or it means they have to be dealt with by the traffic court.

Of course, the usual call for an amnesty seems to work out for the oceans of people all across the island who for one reason or another, “forget” to pay on time. This also relies on the efficiency and accuracy of records maintained in the system between the tax office and the courts.

Drivers who pay their tickets should have no reason to be concerned about the reappearance of tickets paid years prior, because a breakdown in a system has occurred. Well, here we are in 2023 faced with a cane piece of confusion trying to settle traffic tickets between the communication and the courthouse.

Let it be clear, this isn’t an argument for those with 500 tickets and more who have merely motored along with no real regard for law and order. Instead, this is about those who have made every possible effort to avoid getting tickets, but on the rare occasion, end up getting one or two in a year.

The situation that now applies is worrying, especially for those who have to be making every possible effort to pay their tickets in court, or worse, prove that the tickets from years before have been settled. In this year of 2023, the idea of living in Kingston and being told a ticket issued in Montego Bay has to be dealt with in…Montego Bay.

The trip requires paying a toll one way to arrive at a location somewhat reminiscent of an unplanned stage show gate with a rowdy crowd. An investment of time must be made, as it might take an entire day in the process to get a positive result…or not. Let us now consider the cost of the toll on the return to Kingston. It is quite possible that day of wasted time will require another trip to Montego Bay on another decided date.

There is a school of thought which says getting a ticket and not paying it within a specific time frame should rest solely on the shoulders of the motorist who created an offence in the first place. That calls for many assumptions, including that a traffic offense did in fact take place.

There are systems which allow for contesting a ticket. The reality is that several circumstances can lead to a ticket being unpaid prior to a due date. All things being considered, it cannot be expected that a ticketing and revenue collection system that adds more traffic and congestion will bring positive desired results. It also cannot be acceptable that motorists who have done their part to pay tickets are also bundled into the madness. In the end, it appears only gridlock will be achieved. We cannot move forward with backward systems.

Fix it in 2023.