Earlier this year, the T&T government introduced new traffic laws. When the country shut down for COVID-19, the implantation of these laws got delayed, but make no mistake, the laws are now in practice. The government is now using Demerit Points, Red Light Camera Enforcement and new Fixed Penalty Systems to regular traffic management. Today, we’re explaining what these new laws mean, and how you can stay protected and drive safely and responsibly.
The Demerit Points System is used to track drivers’ behavior by allocating certain points to their driving records depending on traffic violations or offences committed. These points are attached to your license, and can be verified by police officers easily. Every driver starts with zero demerit points on their license. Each driving offence has a fine, but also an associated number of demerit points. You can see the full list here.
Depending on how many demerit points are accumulated on your record within a specific period, this can result in the suspension of your driver’s license or other consequences. These points will remain on your record for a maximum of two years. If two years have passed without any new points being added to your record, your existing number of demerit points will automatically be expunged from your record, and you’ll start over at zero.
RED-LIGHT CAMERA ENFORCEMENT:
This is new technology implemented that provides 24-hour monitoring at traffic light intersections for drivers who break red lights. If a car is captured breaking a red light, a photograph and video recording are sent electronically to the Traffic Enforcement Center, and analysed and reviewed to determine or confirm if there was a breach of the red light. If you’ve broken the red light, expect a citation to be generated and delivered to the car’s registered owner via TTPost.
Breaking this law has no demerit points associated with it, however there’s a hefty $1000 fine that must be paid immediately, and a 25% increase will be added after a fourteen-day period, and will continue to increase 25% every two weeks until the ticket has been paid.
FIXED PENALTY NOTICE:
This new traffic ticketing system improves the previous outdated system, making it easier to give and receive tickets. This system utilizes modern technology, using a new system called U-Turn. This allows officers to issue tickets using mobile, hand-held devices, which instantly transmits your ticket information to TTPost (who will receive and process payments), the Judiciary of T&T and the T&T Police Service.
The fines for traffic violations haven’t changed – they still range between $300 and $3000, depending on the offence. The system for ticketing, however, has. This new system also introduced a late penalty. If you don’t pay your ticket within 30 days, a 25% increase will be added after a fourteen-day period, and will continue to increase 25% every two weeks until the ticket has been paid.
These changes to our traffic laws have brought Trinidad and Tobago into the 21st century, but can spell out some major fines and demerit points for careless or reckless drivers.
Please drive safely, responsibly and adhere to the traffic laws.