Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 8th 2017 Contents A12 news
guardian.co.tt Thursday, June 8, 2017
$2,000 fine for
Independent Senator David Small has described the $2,000
fine imposed on drivers of tinted vehicles as oppressive.
To compound matters, Small said the provision that the vehicle
owner can lose their registration for having too dark of a tint was
However, Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi in trying to regulate
tint on vehicles through the Motor Vehicles and Road Traffic
Bill in the Senate on Tuesday insisted that this issue had been
ongoing too long and was a "sore foot matter." It hurts
your foot when you step on it. I accept that."
Small was giving his views during the
committee stage of the bill when the issue
of the tint surfaced.
Al-Rawi said there was a concerned by
members of the public about the severity of
tint applied on vehicles.
Under the existing law, the AG said the max-
imum fine was $5,000.
Al-Rawi said excessive tint had become a problem
for the Police Service particularly dealing with crimi-
He said for January 2015 there were 14 vehicles that obscured
the view of passengers and drivers.
Small said the issue of tint has been on the books for a long
time and it was "disproportional."
Citing countries like Canada, UK and Australia,
Small said the back windows of vehicles in these
countries are darker than the front, which
is measured scientifically.
"How we do it in Trinidad? I have been
stopped on the road and they (police) just
look at you and they decide."
He said some countries use a device called
a vehicle light transmission meter to de-
termine if a tint was within the acceptable
Small said many motorists put tint on the
vehicle to reduce UV rays, glare and heat.
"I understand the issue of criminality. But
I think $2,000 as an immediate fine is harsh.
And then the provision that you can lose the
registration for your vehicle for having tint
is extreme and oppressive," Small said.
Opposition Senator Wade Mark suggested
that acting Commissioner of Police Stephen
Williams "be summoned here. I would have
requested that so we could get data on this
matter. It does not make any sense having
something in legislation that is subjective
and discretionary ...that can be used whimsi-
cally and capriciously in a very punitive way
by law enforcement. Either we delete that
completely from the legislation or we put a
sunset clause for this provision."
The AG reminded Senators that he has
to consult with law enforcement and other
agencies and was looking at the issue as to
how it should be regulated.
"We have not yet finished that work. We
are estimating that by September we can
come back to the Parliament to cause this
to be dealt with," Al-Rawi said.
The AG said he was "getting a significant
push back from the Trinidad and Tobago Po-
lice Service on the matter. So I would like to
cover the data first and then deal with it by
way of a policy prescription."
Congress of the People Senator Rodger
Samuel said there was a "lack of stipulating
on the grade of tint that is legalised."
When a motorist goes to a tint shop,
Samuel said they could not tell what is the
Al-Rawi said he understood Samuel's po-
sition but it would not change just yet, as
he did not have scientific data to say what
is the required grade by law.
The committee appointed by Prime
Minister Dr Keith Rowley to review the
operations of State owned Petrotrin has
submitted a comprehensive report with
recommendations for the restructuring
of the company.
The Petrotrin Review Committee, chaired
by permanent secretary in the Ministry of En-
ergy Selwyn Lashley, was appointed in March
following a Cabinet decision to review the
operations of the energy company in light of
falling revenue, allegations of mismanagement
and declining oil prices.
In an address to the nation in January, Row-
ley said Petrotrin had suffered a more than 50
per cent decline in revenues from $37 billion
in 2012 to $16 billion in 2016 due to a dramatic
slump in crude oil prices, combined with an
ongoing decline in refinery margins and local
oil production. The situation was further ex-
acerbated when the Oilfields Workers' Trade
Union (OWTU) served formal strike notice on
the company in January.
Petrotrin employs more than 5,000 employ-
ees and has an annual wage bill of $1.9 billion
which is close to 50 per cent of its total annual
Traditionally, the company has
been a net earner of foreign ex-
change and brought in approxi-
mately $250 million a year in 2015
and 2016. It is also an important
contributor to tax revenues and a
guarantor of T&T's energy security.
However, for many years high
international oil prices masked a
range of fundamental weakness-
es in the company's operations,
including a steady decline in do-
mestic oil production, low pro-
ductivity, escalating manpower
costs and steadily increasing op-
erational and capital costs, due to
inadequate controls, questionable
management practices and ageing
assets and infrastructure.
Rowley is expected to present
the Petrotrin report to Cabinet and
then to the energy sub-committee
of Cabinet. The Office of the Prime
Minister said in a statement that
the Petrotrin Review Committee
has agreed to remain empanelled
on assignment with Cabinet until
The Petrotrin Review Committee
is chaired by Selwyn Lashley,
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of
Energy & Energy Affairs.
Other members are professor
Chandrabhan Sharma, Depart-
ment of Electrical and Computer
Engineering, Faculty of Engi-
neering, University of the West
Indies; Helen Drayton, former In-
dependent Senator; Robert Riley,
head of Safety and Operational
Risk, Competency and Capability
Development at the BP Group in
London; Wilfred Espinet, AeroMa-
rine Trinidad Limited; and OWTU
representatives Gregory Marchan
and David Abdullah.
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