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Licence plate rules tighter

CARLOS ATWELL, [email protected]

Licence plate rules tighter

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Illegal stickers, cell phones and fake licence plates are all the target of the authorities in the latest clampdown on traffic offenders, with the Ministry of Transport and licence plate manufacturers teaming up to try to eliminate illegal plates.

Minister Michael Lashley said that following a meeting with manufacturers this week an agreement was reached.

“The new regulations will bring uniformity and we will also have records of the licences they produce, which will carry a special emblem. But it is not only a good thing from the point of view of uniformity, but from a security standpoint as well.

“There are a lot of people on the roads without licences or insurance causing accidents and running away, so this is the first step where we are putting the onus on the manufacturers,” he said.

Lashley added that anyone seeking to purchase a licence plate from a manufacturer had to provide documentation proving vehicle ownership, as well as identification.

A sign manufacturer said he supported the move, but wished there had been some consultation beforehand with manufacturers, as there were some issues.

“I think it is excellent, as manufacturers were getting [blame] for illegal plates when in some cases, the plates were legal but the owner stopped paying for it. Still, there are a few challenges, the major one is that we don’t have a standardised space for licence plates,” he said.

The manufacturer explained that Barbados did not make cars, so those imported from overseas often had different amounts of space allocated for the plates. As Barbados’ plates were getting longer, he said sometimes there was not enough room on some cars to place a local plate, at least not within the regulations’ stipulations.

Another issue was the lack of clarification concerning owner identification.

“Owners have to produce road tax, their driver’s licence and insurance before we are to make a plate for them, but it’s not clear on the driver’s licence part – what if you get an order from a garage?

“We wouldn’t know who the owners are to be. It is flawed and I don’t know if the authorities will be willing to bend. If they can tweak it, we would be grateful, but overall we love the initiative,” the sign manufacturer said.

Head of the Royal Barbados Police Force’s Traffic Division, Acting Assistant Superintendent Ronald Stanford, said he hoped the move would curb some of the lawless actions linked to illegal plates as it was a major concern for law enforcement. He said it had ramifications both with criminal activity and accidents. (CA)