Thompson: What about people ticketed for expired licenses during state of emergency when they should have been exempt?
NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Individuals will have 30 days after the end of the state of emergency to renew their car licenses, confirmed Minister of National Security Wayne Munroe yesterday.
During a presentation on Parliament, Munroe sought to clarify the matter, indicating that while the protocol has been debated, police have been operating in line with the initial order.
The people of The Bahamas acted on the basis that they had until 30 days after the end of the state of emergency to license their vehicles and for our part, we will not disappoint the legitimate expectation of our people.
– Wayne Munroe
“As the police have in this year taken the position that they are enforcing insurance only, thereby representing that this suspension was still in place — that, I have no expectation that that will change — that persons will have the 30 days after the end of the state of emergency to license their vehicle,” he said.
In the early days of the pandemic in The Bahamas, the emergency orders suspended the requirement to present any vehicle for inspection for the renewal of a license from March 17 for the duration of the state of public emergency and extending 60 days after.
While motorists could be ticketed for not having car insurance, they were exempted from car licensing and registration.
However, there was a legal view that that suspension ended in May 2020 with the end of the first state of emergency, although the state of emergency was later extended several times.
Munroe insisted yesterday: “If any policeman were to do otherwise, it would be the first time that I would transgress my position and purport to direct them to do something different.
“The people of The Bahamas acted on the basis that they had until 30 days after the end of the state of emergency to license their vehicles and for our part, we will not disappoint the legitimate expectation of our people.”
East Grand Bahama MP Kwasi Thompson raised the question of whether the decision will be retroactive for people who have been ticketed already for not having licenses.
While he could not state a clear view on that issue, Munroe said, “It is clear that it should not happen and I would expect going forward that it will not happen and the public who are listening will know that if it does happen they can happy advise and it will be addressed.
A public state of emergency has been in effect since last March, along with teetering lockdowns and daily curfews.
There have been four separate proclamations since the first one last year, with the extension of the latest one set to end on November 13.
The removal of the emergency orders is among the Davis administration’s campaign promises included in the Speech from the Throne.