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Police mum on whether MP will be charged for driving unlicensed vehicle

Police mum on whether MP will be charged for driving unlicensed vehicle

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Head of the Traffic Branch Superintendent Kenneth John remains tight-lipped about whether charges will be brought against parliamentarian Nigel Stevenson, who admitted to having driven an unlicensed vehicle for five years.

“I don’t want to say charges yet, but according to the law, any vehicle that is usedon the road {{more}} and the vehicle is unlicensed, both the owner and driver are guilty of an offence,” John told SEARCHLIGHT on Wednesday.

He further stated that investigations are ongoing into the matter.

“It’s a matter that I really don’t want to go into too much details with. I really don’t want to go in too deep with it,” John further said.

In December 2014, while speaking in Parliament, Senator Julian Francis disclosed that an Opposition parliamentarian had been driving an unlicensed vehicle since 2009. That parliamentarian turned out to be Stevenson, who is the Member of Parliament for South Leeward.

Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves, at a press conference on January 5, questioned why the matter had been allowed to go on for five years without being picked up by the Traffic Department.

When SEARCHLIGHT posed that same question to John, he said, “I don’t want to go into that. What I want to say, when it was reported to the police in late December, the number (licence plate) was issued to all the traffic officers on patrol and we have not seen the vehicle on the road,” he disclosed.

John, however declined to give the vehicle’s registration number.

Additionally, John said when the matter was brought to his department’s attention, they immediately began investigating the matter and after going through their system, they discovered that the vehicle was indeed unlicensed.

“It was reported to the police that this vehicle driven by him is unlicensed. We carried out investigations and those investigations revealed that the vehicle was registered on July 1, 2009 and up to today’s date, the vehicle is still not licensed,” John disclosed.

He said persons who drive unlicensed vehicles and are caught, are liable to fines ranging from $250 to $2,000.

Furthermore, John also disclosed that the problem of motorists driving without unlicensed and uninsured vehicles is widespread.

“We discover that some persons will use the vehicles like that and only wait until they are caught by the officer and taken to court to insure and license the vehicle,” John said.

“A number of persons have been caught. We have zero tolerance when it comes to this. Most of the areas they have been caught are outside of Kingstown,” John stated.

John said even before the incident with Stevenson took place, his department placed traffic officers on the Windward and Leeward sides of the island to carry out checks for persons with unlicensed and uninsured vehicles.

“Even up to Christmas Day and even at the Nine Mornings festivities, people have been caught. That’s just to tell the amount of patrols we have been doing…,” the Superintendent said.

“We have traffic checks going on night and day for going two years now, non-stop. We don’t cut that out.”(KW)

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