IS the new experimental traffic management plan for Woodbrook and St James legal?
This is the question being asked about the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure's initiative which takes effect from today for a period of three months.
Section 67 of the Motor Vehicles and Road Traffic Act (42 of 1934), which was amended in 2009, deals with experimental traffic schemes.
Subsection (1) states: "Where it appears to the Commissioner of Police expedient to do so for the purpose of carrying out an experimental scheme of traffic control he may, with the consent of the Minister, and after giving such notice as the Minister may direct, make Regulations for regulating vehicular traffic in any manner specified in the Third Schedule.
Subsection (6) mandates that the "Regulations made under this section shall be published in the Gazette and in at least one daily newspaper circulating in Trinidad and Tobago".
However, a search of the Gazette's archives does not reveal any such publication of the Regulations by Commissioner of Police Dwayne Gibbs. The "Notices" section on the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure website did not shed any light on the issue.
Contacted for comment yesterday, Public Information Officer of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service, ASP Joanne Archie, said she was informed that Gibbs would have "signed off on a correspondence" but she has not yet seen it herself.
However Archie said measures have been put in place by several branches of the Police Service to assist members of the public with the changes. This, she said, may suggest that the Commissioner has been very involved in the process. Archie promised to seek further information today.
Port of Spain Mayor Louis Lee Sing told the Express that all legal requirements have been rigorously studied to ensure that there are no problems.
"This is a matter that has been dealt with at the level of the Ministry of Works and (through) working with the Ministry of Transport," Lee Sing said.
"I thought this (publication of the Regulations) was done months ago.
"Why do people try to stymie growth and progress in this country? The person who raised that with you, ask them what they have done to stem the flow of blood in Laventille. Have they volunteered for any of the mentorship programmes? Have they volunteered to go up there and help people? Rather than criticise, condemn and complain, I am asking them to understand that we need to make changes."