TRANSPORT Minister Stephen Cadiz said yesterday that by September, a newly-designed licence plate, drivers’ permit, and new centres for the registration and licensing of vehicles will become available.
Cadiz made the disclosure at a public consultation where the proposed Motor Vehicle Authority (MVA) Bill was introduced to the public.
The consultation, the second to be held by the Ministry, was hosted at the Southern Academy for the Performing Arts, San Fernando.
The MVA will be responsible for the registration, licensing, certification and regulation of motor vehicles and the issuing of licences to drivers.
Cadiz and the Ministry’s senior legal adviser Gobin Harrypersad took questions from the audience.
Cadiz noted that over the years, amendments have been made to the existing Motor Vehicle Act but the legislation was outdated and needed to be repealed and a new one introduced.
The new legislation includes the implementation of a Graduated Driver Licence programme to be completed over a two-year period.
In addition, restrictions will be placed on new drivers who will not be able to drive between midnight and 5 a.m. unless the person is accompanied by an experienced driver who is not under the influence of any narcotic or alcohol.
A point system will be implemented, whereby the driver will have demerit points for offences committed which can lead to suspension of the driver’s licence.
Repeat offenders would have to pay heavy penalties or risk having their licence suspended or revoked.
The new driver’s licence will have a bar code which can be scanned by police on the roadside. Information to be included on the new driver’s licence are name, address, driver licence number, class of vehicle to be driven, and blood grouping.
The MVA will see the introduction of new number plates, which will come in 18 designs, with security markings to be manufactured abroad.
New registration and validation certificates will be administered and each vehicle entering the country will be tagged with a radio frequency identification marker (RFID) for additional security.
There will be 11 Motor Vehicle Authority locations, which would include the refurbishing of the present licensing offices.
In addition, a board of directors for the MVA will be set up with seven members, whereby they can make their own rules to govern proceedings.
An Accident Investigation Service will also be set up to deal with the quick resolution of accidents.
Harrypersad stated that there will be a transitional period for vehicle owners to comply with this new Bill after it was passed.