The Road Traffic Amendment Act 2012 has received support from members of the Senate during a meeting last week Friday at the Trade Centre at Morne Rouge, Grand Anse.
Government Senators, Sheldon Scott, and Brenda Hood, and Trade Union representative, Raymond Roberts gave open support for the amended legislation.
Section 54 of the Road Traffic Act was amended to alter the use of driving licences obtained by users in OECS and CARICOM member states.
Under the amendment, persons in possession with a valid driver’s license can use it for a period not exceeding 6 months in Grenada.
The effect is that persons from CARICOM member states are not required to obtain a Grenadian driver’s license for the following six months in the Spice Isle.
In commenting on the changed legislation, Sen. Scott said, “Such a person has to ensure that he or she drives a motor vehicle of the same class or classes for which he or she holds and authorisation to drive in other CARICOM member states in which he or she holds a driver’s licence. So they are only allowed to drive vehicles of the same exact class for which they have been certified in their own territories within CARICOM.
“…After the period of six months elapses, that person will have to make the necessary application in accordance (with) the requirements of the Road Traffic Act that exist and upon payment of the prescribed fee is granted a service to drive for the period specified therein,” he added.
The Act also addresses the removal of the requirement of a driver’s permit to drive motor vehicles in Grenada to persons of OECS member states.
These member states apart from Grenada include Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, St Kitts, St Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines.
Visitors of these countries will now be able to drive without a
visitor’s permit once they are in possession of a valid driver’s licence from their home territory.
According to Sen. Scott, this highlights the unity that has been
preached for a very long time in the sub-regional grouping.
“We have been speaking a lot about unity… we have a lot of business travelers as well to make it more extensive specifically for those persons within our OECS Economic Union. As you know we can quickly travel to any of the OECS territories within the Economic Union, we can also work in their territories…I know that business persons who come to Grenada regularly from Antigua, Dominica St Kitts…they would be very glad,” he remarked.
Sen. Scott stated that rental companies stand to be the main beneficiaries from the changes made to the legislation.
“It will make it a lot easier for them and also in relation to our CARICOM members, Trinidad, Barbados, Jamaica and other CARICOM members, it makes it even more efficient for them to come to Grenada and be able to move around so that they can rent a vehicle for a week or two or if they have to stay here for an extended period of time, they can probably purchase a vehicle or rent for a longer term,” he said.
On the more cautious side, Sen. Roberts suggested that measures be
put in place to ensure that the country is prepared for whatever may
come along as a result of the changes.
“While I believe that it’s a good thing for enhancing tourism (through) the rental industry, look at the rate of accidents around…that we have had forty more than last year for the same period.
Maybe it’s something that we can look at now that we have erased this section”, he said.
“I think it is important without a doubt to have a speedometer on the road… because we’re having more young people from other islands coming across to our island and we perhaps need to do a lot more monitoring,” he added.