Minister of Transport and Works, Michael Lashley.
Government to crack down on illegal cars
Thu, 03/17/2016 - 5:41pm Barbados1
The days of persons driving unregistered vehicles in this country are numbered, as Government intends to use technology to stop the revenue leakage it is experiencing as a result of unpaid road taxes.
That’s the word from Minister of Transport and Works, Michael Lashley, who spoke of this development yesterday morning during the third day of debate on the Appropriation Bill in the House of Assembly.
While not revealing exact figures, the Transport and Works Minister told the Lower House there is a high percentage of unregistered vehicles traversing the nation’s roads which the authorities could not keep track of. As such, he said in an effort to address the situation his Ministry intends to implement an electronic vehicle registration (EVR) system, a solution that was put forward by his predecessor, the current Minister of Health, John Boyce.
This EVR system, he said, is similar to what has been implemented in Bermuda, and is intended to allow the authorities to scan vehicles and detect those which are non-compliant.
According to Minister Lashley, they have secured the initial set of funding from the Development Bank of Latin America (CAF) to implement the initiative.
“We have been able Mr. Speaker Sir, to have the first component placed under the CAF funds to the tune of $2.5 million, because we have to do it in phases and we have to get the equipment put in place, we have to put the infrastructure in place so that we would be able to properly monitor, and actually be able to now gain additional revenue as a result of capturing these unregistered vehicles on the roads,” he said.
Lashley made the point as he said that his Ministry, prior to the EVR system coming into operation, intends to amend the Road Traffic Act to regulate those who manufacture licence plates. The Minister explained that this amendment would help crack down on those who are using false licence plates to commit crime.
“We said Mr. Speaker that manufacturers should be under the control of the Licensing Authority, we have said that. The law as it states at present Mr. Speaker, only the Government of Barbados is the sole manufacturer of licence plates; that is the law. It means that we have to bring an amendment to bring those players under the Licensing Authority, with conditions,” he said.
His comments came as he indicated that breathalyser testing is still on the cards. He told the Lower House that his Ministry is expected to meet with the relevant stakeholders including the Royal Barbados Police Force, to take the plans forward. (JRT)