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T&T authorities to seize modified cars

PORT OF SPAIN — Drivers whose cars are modified or are in poor working condition will have them seized by licensing officers soon.

This, as Transport Minister Chandresh Sharma announced a crackdown on the nation’s roads. Sharma said cars unsuitable for the road were contributing to the high accident rate, which at the end of 2012 saw 35,000 collisions, with close to 200 people being killed.

He said reckless driving and lack of respect for the law were alarming for such a small country as T&T.

Speaking at yesterday’s launch of the National Road Safety Awareness Campaign at Petrotrin Staff Club, Pointe-a-Pierre, Sharma said if further legislation was required to increase road safety, the Government would act accordingly.

He said under the Motor Vehicles and Road Traffic Act, Transport Commissioner Reuben Cato can impound vehicles that were defective or did not conform to legal specifications.

“The transport commissioner already has the power under the act to seize motor vehicles when people soup up their vehicles. That is illegal. They have to get approval and we will be taking those cars off the road,” he said.

He added that the courts had the power to suspend driver’s permits, and the transport commissioner also had the authority to do the same.

Providing more statistics, Sharma said the total amount of fines received by the judiciary in 2012 for traffic violations was $3 million, which he said was an indicator that too many people were not adhering to the law.

He said: “We have to take steps to make sure that we bring to the attention of the national community that the Government, while it is going about educating, while we’re having these meetings and while we are trying to engage everyone, that if further legislation is required, we will do it.” (Guardian)

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