By Benjamin Flowers: Buckle your seatbelts, make sure your car is licensed and insured, and get ready for a bumpy ride. A leaked memo from the Traffic Department dated December 28, 2020, shows that traffic wardens will be required by the Government of Belize to hand out a specific number of traffic tickets each month.
The memo, which came from Operations Officer Peter Williams and addressed to Senior Transport Officers and Traffic Wardens, shows that the new system for Traffic Violation tickets (TVT)s is already in place.
“Senior Transport Officers are reminded that all Traffic Wardens under their supervision are required to issue a minimum of forty-four TVT each month,” the memo said.
The memo also said that, as of January 1, the original copy of TVTs along with a New Matter of Fact sheet must be submitted to prosecutor Natasha Pipersburgh and that such submissions must be made every Friday.
The situation has sparked major public concern as there is no specified guidance, at least in the memo, on what traffic officers are to do in the event that they do not come upon someone committing a traffic violation within a given month. It also naturally leads to concerns of over-ticketing.
Members of the public are also raising concerns that a quota system may put traffic officers in a position that could see members of the public being victimized for the sake of meeting the quota.