New seatbelt fine is forcing drivers to comply, says Traffic Head, who denies that increase was meant to generate revenue

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Alvin Jones with Head of Traffic-ASP Ellis

Since enforcement of higher seat belt fines commenced about two weeks ago, several persons have been caught breaking the law and were made to pay the $500 penalty.

The Head of the Traffic Department, Assistant Superintendent of Police Rodney Ellis, says the increase comes under new regulations, the Vehicle and Road Traffic Enforcement and Administration Order 2022, which was passed earlier this summer.

Under the new regulations, not only the seatbelt fine has been increased – but that for speeding, as well – with both jumping from $200 to $500, in line with the fine for using a cell phone while driving.

Ellis says the law applies to adult front-seat passengers, who will be responsible for paying their individual fines if caught not wearing a seatbelt.

Children under the age of 14 years are prohibited from riding in the front seat of a vehicle.

If they are caught, the driver will be held responsible and is subject to be fined for that infraction.

Ellis says the penalty has forced drivers to comply with the law and wear their seatbelts, which is a life-saving measure .

Meanwhile, the Traffic Department Head is refuting some residents’ claims that the fines were increased as a money-making avenue for the Government and the Police.

In fact, Ellis says, it is a preventative measure to lower the risk of death and serious injury as a result of a traffic accident.

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25 COMMENTS

  1. We have seatbelt laws here in the states as well. It’s my choice whether or not to wear one, it’s a thing called liberty.
    The nannys can just kiss my ass.

    • Yes, but its annoying to have to scrape your bloody remains off the road. Do us all a favor. Wear the belt. I don’t like blood.

      • @Garrat56 – if you don’t like the sight a blood I suggest you not look at it.

        I’ll stick with liberty thank you.

        • @ scott the time u take to write justify nonsense why don’t u shut up? U add no value to this discussion. Don’t bring no foreign crap here…. go back to wherever u come from! Its simple wear your seat belt or get fine or someone in 1735 will happily use u as a seat belt

          • @seriously – freedom from nannys imposing their will and me as an adult making an informed decision is “nonsense” in your world, I’m sorry to hear that.
            It’s nonsense until the nanny state regulates you into a behavior that you find onerous.

    • What laws do you not consider nannying? Or are you against all the laws you don’t like personally?

      Consider you driving safely and then someone rams into you, while you are not wearing your belt, and you are thrown into and out the windshield.

      A little nannying could have helped.

      This is a rather obtuse line of reasoning.

  2. Anybody expects ASP Ellis to say anything else? Of course it is all about making $$$$.
    The evidence has not been presented to the public to justify the 233% increase in fines. This is ALL about the $$$$

  3. Lol and who gon enforce this?? Not the same ppl that can’t even deal with yellow line parkers nd reckless drivers😂

  4. And your “liberty” can get you killed to! Don’t bring that crap here to Antigua, respect our laws!! I dont understand y this should be a topic. Its very simple, where your bloody seat belts and u won’t be fined!!

      • @Garrat56 the rate increase because people are not respecting the seat belt law. The increase will make people think twice. I think that’s sufficient justification.

      • Exactamente… the law has always been there and the fine was $150. Just enforce that. Obviously, this is ALL about MONEY. This is no justification to increase fines… none. In fact, they presented sketchy, UNEXPLAINED and unconnected stats to support their unreasonable fine increase.
        When did those 19 people die in their car crashes? How many vehicles on the road per year? How many car crashes were reported annually? How many fatalities involving the driver or passenger? How do those stats compare to other Caribbean countries? What are similar fines in other countries? Would the new fines increase seatbelt usesge?
        These are just some of the questions that we thought the ASP would have spoken about.

      • @scott
        I am sure there is a fine in the US for not wearing a seatbelt. In Canada when I visited it was $300.

  5. If the increase in the non wearing of seatbelts had nothing to do with revenue generation. Then why the heck did you increase the fines to $500.I am a proponent for all to wear their seatbelts.However,$500 is a bit too much. What is average weekly wages for people working in Antigua? What is the minimum wage in Antigua? In my opinion more education is needed. The Police should have be out and about enforcing the existing laws. Before this hefty off the wall law and fine came into effect. This is nothing more than a making maker,using the public as their ATM.

  6. Most of these tickets are given in the heart of town . Areas where alot of accidents tend to occur, we need more police on those busy roads like All saints road doing checks, where some drivers love to dry too fast .

  7. Some of you people talking about money while people ignoring the law. Wear your seatbelts and you don’t have to pay. They should make the fine higher.

  8. If people respect the law, there won’t be any increase in revenue!

    Is it really so hard to wear a seat belt? As someone that has witnessed someone (not wearing a seat-belt) going through a windscreen in an accident, I can vouch for the fact that they save lives!

    For all of those that have faith in the medical care facilities in Antigua and want to test them… Carry on not wearing one – Your time will come. For the rest of the sensible people… Thank you for not being ignorant.

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