Jun 20, 2021 News
By Renay Sambach
Kaieteur News – In this week’s edition of ‘The Court Journal’, I will discuss some minor and serious traffic offences.
A traffic offence is a violation of traffic regulations. Some traffic offences that are often violated are driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, breaking the speed limit, causing death by reckless and dangerous driving of motor vehicle, reckless and dangerous driving, failure to wear a seatbelt, failure to carry a conductor, registration of motor vehicle, conduct of driver and other charges.
Most minor traffic offences merely carry a fine of not more than $50,000, while serious traffic offences carry possible jail time. It should be noted that not only a repeat violator of traffic regulations can result in the Magistrate suspending the defendant’s driver licence, but also a defendant who was slapped with multiple traffic charges or based on request by the court prosecutor.
MINOR TRAFFIC OFFENCE
Earlier this year, a driver was slapped with nine traffic charges. The man, Collin White, had appeared in the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts before Senior Magistrate Clive Nurse.
He was charged with four counts of dangerous driving, one count of failure to wear a seatbelt, breach of condition of prescribed fitness, failure to wear a facemask, Conduct of Driver breach and failure to give right of way. According to reports, he had pleaded guilty to the charge, which stated, that he failed to wear a seatbelt and was fined $7,500 for the offence. However, he denied the other eight charges.
In another matter, a soldier who was caught on camera beating a police constable was last year slapped with multiple traffic offences.
The soldier had pleaded guilty to the offences. It was stated that on October 9, 2020, he was driving an uninsured and uncertified motor vehicle. He also committed the offence of driving a vehicle with prohibited tinted glass. He was fined $25,000, $10,000 and $7,500 respectively for the three offences.
SERIOUS TRAFFIC OFFENCE
A few weeks ago, a pilot was jailed for causing the death of a University of the West Indies (UWI) student. Three years after the incident, the matter finally came to an end in the Sparendaam Magistrate’s Court before Magistrate Alisha George.
The UWI student was struck down and killed on the Industry Public Road, East Coast Demerara by Jonathan Antczak, the pilot who was sentenced to two years and six months imprisonment for causing death by dangerous driving.
Antczak had denied the charge, which alleged that on October 10, 2018, he drove in a manner dangerous to the public thereby causing the death of 20-year-old Shivanan Brazlon, a Trinidadian national.
According to reports, on the afternoon of October 11, in the company of her fiancé while on the Industry Public Road, Brazlon was struck down and killed. This publication learnt that Antczak, the driver of the car involved in the accident, was a friend to the young woman’s fiancé who is also a pilot. It was also reported to the police that while the two were attempting to the cross the road from north to south, she reportedly walked ahead and was struck by motorcar PLL 9039 which was travelling west on the road.
As a result of the hit, she was flung some distance from where she was. The injured woman was picked up and taken to the Woodlands Hospital where she died later that night while receiving treatment. Before the tragic incident occurred, the young woman had left her home in Trinidad and Tobago and was in Guyana visiting her fiancé who resided in Seventh Field, Cummings, Lodge.
In another tragic incident, a teen driver was earlier this year placed on $600,000 bail for allegedly causing the death of two teenagers on Valentine’s Day this year.
Rayon Alves, 19, of Lot 1, East La Penitence, Georgetown, appeared in the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts before Senior Magistrate Leron Daly.
He was slapped with two counts of causing death by dangerous driving charges and these were read to him in the presence of his lawyer, Dexter Todd. Alves denied both allegations.
The first charge alleged that on February 14, 2021 at Homestretch Avenue, Georgetown, he drove motor vehicle PVV 1289 in a manner dangerous to the public, thereby causing the death of 19-year-old Dakera Gittens of Nutmeg Street, Festival City, Georgetown. The other charge alleged that on the same date and at the same location, he drove the same vehicle in a manner dangerous to the public, thereby causing the death of 18-year-old Tonika Halley of Phase Two, East La Penitence, Georgetown.
In another instance, former Chief-of-Staff of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF), Gary Best, was last December freed of causing the death of national cyclist, Jude Bentley, by dangerous driving.
Best walked free of the charge after Magistrate Rondell Weever upheld a no-case submission that was made by the defence.
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