By Orville Williams
While the Covid-19 pandemic stifled economic opportunities for the government and battered its revenue, the Traffic Department of the Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda played its part with a revenue return of more than $600,000.
Head of the Traffic Department – Assistant Superintendent Rodney Ellis, disclosed during the RPFAB’s end-of-year press briefing yesterday, that the total revenue return for 2020 was $603,410, compared to $321,310 for 2019. This figure was earned via fines handed down through the Magistrates Court, tickets and/or warrants, lost number plates and other revenue sources.
Persons who were taken to court on various traffic offences contributed $336,400 last year, compared to $108,300 in 2019. Ellis attributed this to the number of traffic-related convictions, which increased from 133 in 2019 to 415 in 2020.
Tickets/warrants – attributed to persons who were issued tickets, failed to pay them and then subsequently failed to contest them in court – contributed $101,780 in 2020 versus $73,000 in 2019. An increase in the execution of outstanding warrants also helped to raise this figure.
Lost number plates contributed $56,050 in 2020, an increase from $38,900 in 2019. Ellis explained that monies are earned in this case from a letter that is required from the Traffic Department, to be taken to the Transport Board before plates can be replaced. The flooding conditions experienced last year formed part of this increase, after a number of persons lost their plates and had to have them replaced.
Revenues listed as “other” contributed $109,180, up from $100,710 in 2019. These included things like insurance reports – e.g. in the case of a collision, where a report is required by the insurance provider. Authorisation for heavy-duty equipment, being used mainly in the city of St. John’s, accounted for another portion of the “other” sources of revenue.