THERE has been a more than 20 per cent decrease in road deaths since the implementation of the demerit points system, reported Works and Transport Minister Rohan Sinanan.
He was contributing to the budget debate in the House on Tuesday.
He recalled on May 26 amendments to the Motor Vehicle and Road Traffic Act 2017 were proclaimed which allowed for a demerit points system, a new traffic ticketing fixed-penalty system and a red-light camera enforcement system.
"Since the demerit point system has been implemented we have recognised that between...May 27 (and) September 20 there have been a 22 per cent decrease in fatal road traffic accidents and a 29 per cent decrease in road traffic deaths compared to last year.
"However, it is rather unfortunate that drivers continue to defy the traffic laws."
He reported as of September 21 there had been 235 suspensions and disqualifications.
On the Licensing Division, he spoke about the appointment system, which offered particular services on specific days, and which was established owing to covid19 restrictions.
"As well, what we have found interesting is the fact that there is almost double the amount of requested drivers' permit transactions this year, at 40,355, as compared to 22,227 in 2019."
Sinanan said despite increased transactions during a pandemic which forced decreased service capacity, to date, the ministry "continues to provide a consistent service to customers across the nation and will implement additional measures that will allow us to expand our touch-points."
He said in the near future the ministry will launch its licensing mobile services unit, which will make scheduled visits to rural communities and villages and provide a variety of services including printing certified copies, processing learners’ permits, renewing drivers’ permits, regulation tests for all drivers' permit classes, renewing taxi badges, and verifying and updating drivers' permit records.
He announced over the next fiscal year, and under its transformation programme, the Licensing Division will launch a number of online services to "further enhance the customer experience and create additional revenue."
The services include an electronic vehicle inspection system directly linked to all approved testing stations; an online vehicle registration system; an online application for learners' permits; an online certified copy request and delivery system; and online renewal of drivers’ permits
He said planned additional reform initiatives include tint legislation, drugalyser legislation, a disabled-accessible parking system, a modernised registration plate system, and parking meters in the cities of Port of Spain and San Fernando.