• Today
    December 12

  • 10:55 PM

Police must report all, not just some

DAVID BRATHWAITE,

Added 23 February 2018

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Section 20 (2) of the Road Traffic Regulations 1984, Cap. 295 states that:

 No person shall, without the permission in writing of the Licensing Authority,

 (a) affix to the front of a motor vehicle any letters or figures, other than those required by the Act, or any lighted lamps, other than the headlamps and sidelamps or such other lamps as may be required by these regulations; or

 (b) affix to the rear of a motor vehicle or trailer any letters or figures, other than those required by the Act, or lighted lamps or reversing lights, or stop lights, other than the lighted lamps or reversing lights or stop lights required by these regulations.

However, it’s very curious how a hitherto unenforced law is now suddenly being enforced. Perhaps the messaging is too powerful for some persons to handle

If we are to be regarded as a society of laws, then all such stickers and signs (including those with religious themes, and others) which run afoul of the law should equally be targeted. The efforts of the police should not be focused only on those stickers that say Stop RH Littering or Dun Wid RH Dem; which is perhaps the real target. 

Independence

It is also disturbing that the police admit that the force’s action is in response to a directive from the Ministry of Transport. I am a firm believer in the independence of the police.  In my opinion, the legislature writes the laws and the police should enforce them, without fear of favour, and without direction from other branches of the executive.

 By the way, RH can mean a lot of things, like “roads and highways” as have already been pointed out, or “really horrible” in the context of the second sign, which is fair political commentary protected by law. It can also mean “righteous and holy” in a religious context, or even “Right Honourable” as the fitting and legal honorific for the Prime Minister. So, we really need to stop being base in our interpretation of two simple letters.

 An attorney might be able to clarify whether a legal case can be made regarding the discriminatory application of the law (selective prosecution), should the police not do their job and target all violators of the provisions in question.

 In the meantime, there may be ways for persons who still want to get out their messaging via their vehicles to do so without violating the law. I would suggest the use of windscreen sunshades or antenna pennants as alternative ways for them to get out their messaging.

– David Brathwaite

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