With well over a year of public frustration due to lengthy waits for driver’s licenses among other issues that have plagued Abaco’s Road Traffic Department, Minister of Transport and Local Government, Frankie Campbell indicated that some relief may come early next year.
Mr. Campbell noted that “We are aware that Abaconians would have had the frustration of having to wait for the driver’s license to either come from Grand Bahama or Nassau and the delay, understandably would have been frustrating.”
He said that his department advised him that the Driver’s License printer – which have to be customized – are on order and should be here in early 2018.
“We advise that in the interim that all efforts are being made to ensure that Grand Bahama is running efficiently so that the delays are minimized to within a week,” he added.
The Road Traffic Department within the last twelve months embarked on its automation system.
He said that after reviewing the results of the first twelve months “we have had the opportunity to work out the kinks; as with any new system it will not go smoothly initially.”
Mr. Campbell said that “We are satisfied now that most of the kinks have been worked out to the extent that the additional equipment necessary to furnish the family island sites, including Abaco, can now be ordered because the necessary modifications have been made.
“And we are satisfied that persons with a receipt for their renewals will not be adversely affected if they are stopped by the police or any other agency.”
Mr. Campbell noted that additionally the expiry date has no bearing on the legitimacy of the license being used to identify the holder.
He also noted that staffing is an issue, not just in Abaco, but across the board in the entire Bahamas and that there are adjustments being made in areas where there is excess staff, and adjustments will be made where there isn’t sufficient staff.
He said that the government is also reviewing a draft legislation outlining some changes to the Road Traffic Act, which is now in its final stages.
“The act will take into consideration the modernization of laws and the advancement in technology, the necessities that need to be addressed with regards to traffic fines, outstanding warrants and connectivity with other government departments,” he said.
He added that there will also be consideration for fixed penalties for road traffic violations that would allow people to pay a fine without having to go to court in order to pay the fine.