Friday 14 August, 2020

PM wants police to delay charging drivers for registration

The Royal Barbados Police Force would have been expecting all vehicles to be registered by October 1, 2019.

The Royal Barbados Police Force would have been expecting all vehicles to be registered by October 1, 2019.

Legislation may soon be passed to allow motorists without registration stickers more time to get registered. 

Drivers may get one extra month to register vehicles, according to Prime Minister Mia Mottley.

Giving November 1, 2019, as the possible new deadline for drivers and vehicle owners to secure their registration stickers, Barbados' leader said that due to "unforeseen" circumstances, this measure of leniency may be necessary.

Speaking at the Barbados Sustainable Energy Conference 2019 - Roadmap to 2030 held at Hilton Hotel in Barbados this morning, October 2, the Prime Minister acknowledged that the Ministry of Public Works "has been seeking to take documents from people who have gone to insurance companies" over the past couple of weeks and days but due to staff shortages and long lines which are "unacceptable", the process could not be completed by October 1.

October 1, 2019, was the legislated cutoff date for drivers to be registered according to the new procedure since the road tax was abolished.

Prime Minister Mottley said that she is aware of the situation some drivers are facing and explained: "This morning I have asked the Attorney General to speak to the Commissioner of Police and to indicate that there shall be no efforts to prosecute anybody and that we will bring legislation, a one-clause Bill if necessary to ratify the decision not to prosecute anybody who does not or has not gotten their registration in time."

She said that the legislation can be put in place "to give people until the beginning of November so that people can do this in good order and in good time."

And she urged that "these are the kind of nimble decisions that we have to take if we see things going wrong."

But she reiterated that the law needs to be amended. "Now we not gonna do it idly so, because it is the law, but we can bring a one-clause Bill that ratifies and creates that amnesty for this month and Jah know we need to get it right by next year even if it means that the insurers have to do it on behalf of the government."

The Prime Minister said that she is willing to grant some leeway on this because she knows the digitization process will not happen overnight. It is no "abracadabra moment".

Using the eZpay procedure and platform launched most recently as a prime example, she said that "took months for us to get there," but she assured that "within two years", Barbadians will have "a hassle-free environment within which to function to access functions in government."

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