An internal memorandum from the Transport Department emerged today - and it points to quotas for traffic tickets issue to wayward drivers.

A memorandum dated December 28, 2021 from the Transport Operations Officer tells all traffic wardens and transport officers that they must issue a minimum of 44 traffic violation tickets every month. It ads that failure to comply with this instruction will result in "sanctions for insubordination".

Now, the idea of a ticket quota is already dubious and to add the threat of sanctions to it makes it downright sketchy to many.

But, the Minister spoke to us by phone about it - and he said - it's not about being punitive; it's about road safety, plain and simple.

Hon. Rodwell Ferguson, Minister of Transport
"I don't think the appropriate backlash, if you look at Facebook you will see where the public is supporting the cause, because there are too many violators when it comes to traffic. We are a country of laws. We are the department of transport and we have to enforce the law and so we are not forcing the wardens to say that you must do X amount. If you look at 40, its an average of maybe two and a half tickets per day. We are burning fuel; we are taking up our maintenance cost and if nothing is coming back then why should we go out there and enforce and then nobody is getting a ticket."

Jules Vasquez
"So now the criticism will be made or is being made that when you set a minimum quota of 44, you are not encouraging good sound law enforcement. You are encouraging punitive law enforcement that you have to issue these tickets even for minor offences, because you have to make sure you get that 44 every month."

Hon. Rodwell Ferguson, Minister of Transport
"I wouldn't say it that way. I will tell you 44 is very minimum and we are having so much traffic wardens out there to enforce and I don't see anything wrong and I want to propose to cabinet as soon as I can to put a paper together that we can give back these wardens an incentive, so for every time you prepare a ticket for wrong doing and breaking the law, then you should get an incentive for eevry ticket."

Jules Vasquez
"But let's say you plan to have 50 traffic wardens issuing 44 tickets per month. Thats 2,200 tickets cumulatively per month minimum. Is this a major drive now at enforcing traffic violations on the highway?"

Hon. Rodwell Ferguson, Minister of Transport
"It's a major drive, but I don't want to look at it to say what income would derive from it. But in the end the sole purpose is to make sure we mitigate and reduce traffic accidents on the highway. We are trying to save lives."

There are currently 39 traffic wardens - and Ferguson said he will ask Cabinet for funds to hire more.

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