Getting your vehicle inspected and taking your driving test in Belize City just got a little easier. Beginning today, the inspection site has been relocated and there will be a computerized version of the test. This morning Belize City Traffic Department held a brief event to introduce these changes and talk about upcoming improvements to their headquarters. New Five’s Paul Lopez was at the new inspection location and has this report.
Paul Lopez, Reporting
The Belize City Traffic Department Inspection Booth just got an upgrade. Drivers used to have to visit this small wooden booth on Johnson St. to have their vehicles inspected before their licenses were approved for renewal. But, after today, motorists will no longer be confined to this small, congested area. The department’s inspection booth has been relocated to the Marion Jones Sporting Complex.
Jermaine Hyde, Traffic Administrative Manager, Belize City Council
“The moving to Marion jones provides the residents of Belize City to come somewhere where it is sheltered. Prior to our move the residents were exposed to all the elements out there. When it was raining people had to stay in their vehicles and wait. When the sun was out, standing up in the line out there. It is more convenient for residence to access the service here. In addition to that there is more space. So it provides for better testing on the part of the inspection officers that do the inspections out there.”
The Belize City Traffic Department is also taking a more progressive approach when it comes to their driver’s license test. Residents will no longer have to sit through a handwritten test before acquiring their driver’s license.
“The test is no longer handwritten. It is done digitally. When you go to the department, you are given a user’s name and a password. You log into the system, and you sit and complete the test digitally. So there is a screen and you tap your answers and at the end of doing your test, it gives you a real time grade. So you no longer have to wait a couple days before you can go back and see how you performed on the assessment.”
Simultaneously at today’s event, Belize City Councilor responsible for traffic, Albert Vaughn spoke about upgrades to the Traffic Department building on Youth for the Future Drive.
Albert Vaughn, Belize City Councilor
“When I appointed councilor, I found out that the place was a bit drub. This is where the citizens come in and pay their taxes, pay for whatever services they need from the council. I believe that is should be better, not only for our customers but for people working there as well. IF we demand for our officers to go out there and enforce and come in here and work, then the place should be suited. So that is what we did, we did a renovation of the whole place, we paint it over, we got the air conditioner that was not working. We got the old files out of the building and we enlightened people, that is what we did.”
And while these upgrades may provide better services to those who utilize them, residents are still left to endure long lines outside Traffic Department. Digitizing these services may eliminate these long lines, Mayor Bernard Wagner agrees.
Bernard Wagner, Belize City Mayor
“Our management information system and technology continue to work towards digitizing as much of our work as possible. And clearly the facilitation process of application, we want to look at how we can digitize that. Our team continues to work feverishly on that. We feel that within the next year or two we will be able to bring all those other services in a digitized fashion.”
“If you look at the building right now, we have cemented the driveway. And so that would be our next step right now, how we can get some covering so that people do not have to stand in the sun. Because of Covid, everybody cannot fit in the building. So you have to work along with us until we get that. But that is coming, that is on the agenda.”
Reporting for News Five, I am Paul Lopez.
Mayor Wagner says the cost for implementation of all three projects amounted to an estimated twenty five thousand dollars.