Harsh, oppressive and disproportionate.
That’s the view of an Arouca man, whose driving permit was suspended for six months after he received three tickets during a five month span last year.
The individual, Zachary De Silva, is now suing the Licensing Authority and the Transport Commissioner.
De Silva received his first ticket after he was caught using his cellphone while driving in May. Two months later, he received another ticket for breaching a traffic sign. Then, in September, he was issued the third ticket for having a front passenger without a seat belt.
The matter was heard before High Court Judge Frank Seepersad on Wednesday, who said that the case needed to be resolved as it had the potential to affect drivers, who face suspension for repeated traffic offences under the recently introduced demerit points system like De Silva.
In his court filings, De Silva said he paid the ticket fines, believing that once paid, he would not receive demerit points.
But that was not the case.
De Silva said the licensing authority gave him an opportunity to present a mitigation plea and then they still decided to suspend his permit for having between 10 and 14 points within a three year period.
Under the legislation, suspensions vary between six months and two years depending on the number of points accumulated.
In the lawsuit, De Silva is claiming that the authority’s move to carry out the provisions of the legislation was harsh, oppressive and disproportionate in the circumstances.
Judge Seepersad noted that the case dealt with aspects of an amendment to the Motor Vehicle and Road Traffic Act, which deal with the discretion of the authority and commissioner to suspend the permits of errant drivers.
The matter is scheduled to be heard again on January 19.