My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Motorists, NRSC and the New Traffic Ticket System - Nowhere to Run

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Motorists, NRSC and the New Traffic Ticket System - Nowhere to Run

He either fears his fate too much
Or his desserts are small,
That dares not put it to the torch,
To gain or lose it all.

James Graham, Marquis of Montrose, I’ll Never Love Thee More

Since last year November 2010 AD, the Government of Jamaica had given a directive to the Jamaica Constabulary Force via Police Commissioner Ellington (any relation to Fay Ellington?) with regards to Traffic Tickets in light of the shortfall in the order of JA$800 million as stated in the article “Police given shorter time to submit Traffic Tickets”, published Monday, November 08, 2010, The Jamaica Observer.

Also in December of 2010AD, the NRSC (National Road Safety Council) has had it in mind to ban the use of mobile phones for talking and texting and make it a fine-able offence by August 2011, (just in time for my birthday, too!!!).

Their intention is to extend this to DVD players in Motor Vehicles as spoken by Director of the NRSC, Kenute Hare (member of the Rabbit family, I suppose!) as stated in the article “Road Safety Unit Looks to Regulate Cell Phone Use”, published Friday, December 31 2010 09:00 By JIS News.

So says the Rabbit Man, Director of the NRSC, Kenute Hare in the JIS Interview back in December 2010, quote: “What it's going to do is regulate the manner in which cell phones are being used by motorists. It will deal with gadgets in the motor vehicles, which cause distractions, for example DVDs. We will ensure that these devices do not play when the driver is operating the vehicle”

He apparently is in law enforcement, as he went on further to state, quote: “The reason why we are going to intensify it is because the long arm of the law will follow right behind this education programme, so for those who don't hear, they will feel. They are going to be punished, the tickets will be issued and the judicial system will have no mercy upon persons, who believe that they can create imbalances within the traffic environment and get away with it”.

Ok, I guess I have another reason to park my car, aside from the exorbitantly high gas price in 2011 as stated in the article “PetroJam increases gasoline JA$2.50 per litre”, published Friday, March 04, 2011, The Jamaica Observer.

Good to hear that Telecom Provider LIME supports this move as stated in the article “LIME supports ban on cell phone use while driving”, published Friday, February 18, 2011, The Jamaica Observer.

The Silence of the Lambs (1991), namely Telecom Provider CLARO, a supporter of MRSI (Mandatory Registration of Subscriber Information) initiative as stated in my blog article entitled “MRSI and MNP - Where the Spies Are” spearheaded by the Ministry of Security and Telecom Provider Digicel is deafening.

Lots of promises here in 2010AD, so this article is obviously a follow-up, folks. How had the Government of Jamaica fared thus far in implementing these measures to combat the increasing scourge of Road Fatalities, reputed to kill as many people as heart attack and stroke combined?

Apparently unknown to the public, Illuminat Jamaica Limited, had been contracted to implement a Handheld Wireless Ticketing System in the above edict with regards to Traffic Tickets.

So to finally get wind of word of the Traffic Ticket System’s intended implementation in 2011 by the Government of Jamaica from none other than Prime Minister Bruce of Jamaica Golding this late is regrettable, but its importance still impels me to write an essay on the significance of the announcement.

On Wednesday February 9th 2011, Prime Minister of Jamaica Bruce Golding made mention of the coming of such an Automated Electronic Traffic Ticketing System as stated in the article
New Ticketing System to collect billions in unpaid fines”, published Friday, February 11th 2011 20:41 by JIS News.

Just type “traffic tickets” in the search engine on JIS News website!  JIS News website amusingly, has the Manatt Enquiry  Soap Opera streaming live daily!

Nice website retrofit, JIS News! One can imagine people switching from Television Jamaica  to JIS News website in order to watch our local Soap Opera Production streamed live for the entire world to see on their Apple iPad’s, the must-have gadget for 2011! Or just simply a hidden tab on their Google Chrome Browser at the Office during lunchtime

In his presentation in Parliament on Wednesday February 9th 2011, Prime Minister of Jamaica Bruce Golding effectively outlined the implementation of a Database which would allow the above edict issued by Police Commissioner Ellington in the article “Police given shorter time to submit Traffic Tickets”, published Monday, November 08, 2010, The Jamaica Observer to be fully implementable.

A must, in light of reports in The Jamaica Gleaner of some JAS$3 billion in uncollected Traffic Tickets from Traffic Offenders islandwide as stated in the article “JA$3 billion owed in outstanding Traffic Tickets”, published Thursday February 10, 2011 by Edmond Campbell, Senior Staff Reporter, The Jamaica Gleaner. 

The Prime Minister’s confidence in the new systems, slated to come online in a matter of months is evident in this quote: “We now have an integrated system where the moment the ticket is issued, it is registered in that database. We have servers that download it to the courts' offices in seven parishes so far”.

Nice to hear the Government of Jamaica sounding modern and expressing confidence in Technology to combat a growing scourge that has even claimed the lives of tourists as stated in the article “Tragedy triggers call for sidewalks in West End”, published Thursday, February 10, 2011 by HORACE HINES Observer West reporter, The Jamaica Observer. Apparently even tourists do not have rights to the road, being mowed down like stray goats as this article reports.

This is where my ears get pricked: Prime Minister of Jamaica Bruce Golding effectively speaks of the implementation of what sounds like a Cloud-based Database, with Traffic Tickets being issued via Wirelessly-connected Handheld Units, the Traffic Offender being given a printed receipt in paper form.

Fool-proof in concept! This should exponentially increase the money going directly to the coffers of the Government of Jamaica, not to mention make “bribing an officer” unattractive to both Traffic Police as well as the guilty motorist.

The Records of the Transaction of course, would be backed up in the Cloud on (hopefully!!) shielded Servers, preferably running a Linux Distribution and protected by Biometric Security protocols for added security i.e. Restriction of access via Retina Scans and fingerprint readers to Police High Command and a select few, including the Senator Dwight Nelson, Minister of Security.

Linux Distributions such as Red Hat, Fedora and Suse Linux, downloadable from the Internet for Free, are preferred. This is as the high cost of paying Microsoft for Software licenses to the tune of US$600 million as stated in the article “Gov't to pay US$600 to renew software licenses”, published Wednesday, February 16, 2011, The Jamaica Observer is a ridiculous fee Jamaica cannot afford in the long term.

A break from Microsoft is imminent and may be news next on JIS News website soon so a blog article is coming on that hot topic!!!

It will also mean that the Jamaica Constabulary Force aka the Jamaican Police will have to be “trained” to use these handheld units in order to effectively issue tickets.

This in an effort to reduce the time between the issuing of Traffic Tickets to the handing in to Processing Center (CCN?) for Data Entry to twenty four (24) hours. Otherwise the Traffic Tickets would effectively be null and void and the Police Officer in question would have to explain the circumstances surrounding the issued Traffic Ticket.

A Ban on Talking and Texting as mentioned by the Rabbit Man, Director of the NRSC Mr. Kenute Hare on the JIS News website was also part of the speech by Prime Minister of Jamaica Bruce Golding as stated in the article “Ban them!”, published Thursday February 10, 2011, The Jamaica Gleaner. There are coming changes to the Road Traffic Act to enable the “long arm of the law” to quote Director of the NRSC Mr. Kenute Hare.

Needless to say, this all started in November 8th 2010. I stirred up a bit of controversy via two (2) published blog articles of mine.

The first one chronicling the coming changes in the Jamaican Transport Center being implemented by Senator Mike Henry, Minister of Transport and Works and the Resistance by JATOO (Jamaica Association of Transport Owners and Operators) to these changes as stated in my blog article entitled “JATOO and the Transport Revolution in Jamaica - Babylon By Bus”.

In it, I made mention of the original plans by the Executive Director of the NRSC (National Road Safety Council),  Paula Fletcher to implement an Automated Electronic Traffic Ticketing System as stated in the article “CCTV speed Traps - Surveillance Cams to track Road Hogs” published Monday July 13, 2009 by Tyrone Reid, Staff Reporter, The Jamaica Gleaner.

It has the curious legal benefit also, by virtue of the required legislative changes to the Road Traffic Act, to make photographic evidence admissible in court, provided that the Bureau of Standards can vet the authenticity of the electronic evidence submitted as suggested in my blog article entitled ‘Information on the Automated Ticketing System”.

The project, announced in July 2009 with a slated completion date of eighteen (18) months, happens to have its completion date land neatly in January 2011. So it is nice to know, albeit late on my part, with all that is happening in Silicon Valley with the Apple iPad as chronicled in my Geezam Blog article “Apple iPad 2 - Dual-core Easy Skankin'”.

Equally mentioned in detail in my blog article entitled “Apple iPad 2 and PC Future - Doomsday in the Battlefield” to keep me distracted and forget about Jamaica and al its problems.

This falls in line with my second blog article on the almost revolutionary changes in the Jamaica Transport Sector, which is feasible, so long as LNG (Liquid Natural Gas) is involved also suggested in my blog article entitled “JUTC, Challenger and LNG - Journey to the Center of the Earth”.

LNG has thus far been unaffected by the rising Oil Prices allegedly due to the fight for freedom in Libya, the whole thing having a conspiratorial ring to it, as Libya does not produce that much Oil for speculators to push up World Oil Prices as stated in my blog article entitled “Libyan Freedom, Oil Prices and Alternative Energy - The Pelican Brief”.

Hopefully these three (3) systems will ACTUALLY see the light of day and move from drawing paper to actual implementation, Nowhere to Run (1993) style:

  1. The Handheld Wireless Ticketing System for the Police
  2. Legislative changes to the Road Traffic Act and its far Reaching implications
  3. The Automated Electronic Traffic Ticketing System (very British, I might say!)
Until then, Jamaicans at least has the Manatt Enquiry  Soap Opera streaming live daily as a great reason to visit the JIS News website and to keep us entertained as the Dog Days of Summer wend their way on through 2011.

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