Understanding the Law
December 8, 2006

Traffic Tickets-2

No one wants to contravene the law of the land and as we all know ignorance of the law is no excuse. Hence we would review the Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Act and the principal Act so as to highlight some of the regulations. Under the laws, drivers and owners of vehicles could be prosecuted for committing driving or parking violations and for having improper identifications. A ticket could be issued for some of these violations.{{more}}

Registration Marks

If you own a vehicle you must make sure that you have registration plates which comply with the law. These are fairly individualized items but there are certain features about them that are standard particularly the size of the letters and figures. You may want to make your letters and numbers in a stylized manner according to your own taste but this is not allowed. The registration plate must be rectangular and not round, oval or irregular in shape. The proper index marks, P for private, H for public service vehicles R for rented, HT for freight passenger vehicles must be in the dimension prescribed by the law. “Letters and figures must be three and a half inches high; every part of every letter and figure must be five-eighths of an inch broad and the total width of the space taken by every letter or figure must be two-and-a-half inches”

The spacing of the letters and figures are also regulated by law according to the Second Schedule “the space between adjoining letters and between adjoining figures must be half-an inch, and there must be a margin between the nearest part of any letter and the top and bottom of the plate of at least half-an-inch; and between the nearest part of any letter or figure and the sides of the plate of at least one inch”

There are persons who have been making number plates according to the law for many years so do not be persuaded by the creative guy out there who might give you a version that does not conform with the law. Remember you could be given a ticket if you do not comply with the law.

The number plates must be black and the letters and figures should be white and the plates must be placed in the front and back of the vehicle. The other option is to have the front plate white with black lettering and the rear plate yellow with letters and figures black. These must be well lit at nights in order to avoid a penalty.

Taxi and minibus owners and drivers must make sure that they include on the number plates the number of passengers for which they are licensed. A taxi carries the information on the registration plate and minibus on its right side. A freight passenger vehicle must also carry the information on its right side along with other information as to weight of vehicle unloaded, the maximum gross weight which it is licensed to carry and the name and address of owner. Ticket issued for an offence is $80.

Pedestrian Crossing

I hope you have not forgotten what you learnt when you prepared for your driving licence. You are required to stop at the white line that is marked out across the street in front of a pedestrian crossing when someone enters the crossing. There are some problems in that these lines are not always visible. The elements and the heavy use of the roads by vehicles cause the white lines to fade quickly. A pedestrian could be given a ticket if he or she idles on the crossing. Offences under the section carry a fixed penalty of $50.00.

• Ada Johnson is a solicitor and barrister-at-law.

E-mail address is: exploringthelaw@yahoo.com