Video evidence to be used in cases involving taxis

3 years ago

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The Transport Authority (TA) is moving to make greater use of technology to identify infractions that may be committed by public passenger vehicle (PPV) operators on the roadways.

“We can take information from persons who have used their smartphones, for example, to record infractions and take information from persons, who use their dashboard cameras,”

Senior Legal Officer at the entity, Ewan Simpson, said.

He said that the entity is looking at utilising evidence gathered from closed-circuit television cameras (CCTV) through JamaicaEye and working in collaboration with the Ministry of National Security and the National Works Agency (NWA).

Simpson argued that with the use of video evidence, transport operators will no longer have to worry that a decision is being made against them based on the word of the police or the TA Inspector, as what would be relied upon is the objectively recorded evidence.

“Even though some persons might feel that this is going to oppress them, camera evidence/video evidence is usually objective,”

he pointed out.

“So, if the policeman or the TA Inspector is being unfair to you, the judge is in a position to make a more objective determination,”

he added.

Simpson said that under the Evidence Act, the maker of the video or the recording is usually required to, by affidavit or in person, support that document, which he said

“is not difficult to do once we have organised ourselves properly”.

As it relates to the JamaicaEye cameras, the Senior Legal Office explained that video evidence may be used because the cameras are operated by persons in control rooms, who have custody of the information and how it is stored and are able to give evidence accordingly.

Corporate Communications Manager, Petra-Kene Williams, said that the use of technology will ensure that

“There is no more ‘cat and mouse’ with the operators, but that we are being strategic, as a regulatory body, in infusing intelligence and information”.

She shared that already, the Authority has been upgrading its network in an effort to increase efficiency in its operations.
“We have introduced technology in terms of how we do licence applications, and so we have our online applications for both public passenger vehicles and commercial carriers, so our clients can go online and use their cards to process payments,”

she said.

She noted that the Authority has developed demonstration videos that persons can view to understand the process of using the online service.

“We just completed a website upgrade, so we have a new website that has information that is easily accessible to the public,”

Miss Williams added.

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