70-y-o owes nearly $500,000 in traffic fines
A 70-year-old bus driver who has amassed nearly $500,000 in traffic fines is adamant that he will not be paying them, as he believes public transit operators were not given sufficient time to clear their debts before the new Road Traffic Act comes into effect.
The driver, who plies the Constant Spring to Portland route, made a bold statement on Monday at the Melbourne Road location of the Corporate Area Traffic Court, that he would rather "rub time dan pay di money". He has amassed 346 tickets, totalling $489,400.
"Me nah pay none a dem. This unfair because me pay whole heap a ticket already, dem shoulda just make dem here gwan. We need more time fi pay dem off," he said, even as he stood among other delinquent drivers seeking to get a court date to settle their outstanding tickets.
"As of Wednesday, me nah come out. Me nah strike, enuh, but me nah risk lose the vehicle and my licence over this," he indicated.
His sentiments were echoed by a taxi driver who has 41 tickets totalling $195,800. This middle-aged man told T HE STAR that he is not entirely against paying the fines and will attempt to do so.
"But if me can't make all a di money by the court date come round, me affi just go do the time. Me nah kill out myself fi nutten. One month a nuh enough time. See me have a ticket fi $15,000 and it hard fi shell out all a dah money one time in a court and me have a eight-year-old daughter fi tek care of. Me affi just hold back, but me know a di money dem want but dem a guh use the money next month? Dem shoulda just gi we some more time," he said.
The taxi man argued that he stayed away from the courts as he did not have sufficient funds to pay the fines at the time he received the tickets.
"And me still nah nuh money right now, so me woulda love fi somebody sponsor me," he said.
But for one 35-year-old taxi driver, who has 129 tickets and owes $200,300 he intends to use the new Road Traffic Act as the beginning of a new chapter for him.
"This is an opportunity fi me pay off the likkle ticket dem weh me have and start fresh. Me a try clear dem up as soon as possible. Me save up $100,000 and me just ago gwan hunt the rest. After me clear it up, me ago try be a good road user, follow the road code because me can't bother fi do this again," he shared.