Friday 21 February, 2020

Sinanan fires back: Don’t blame me for inspection crowds

Works and Transport Minister Rohan Sinanan is firing back at his critics after an Express Editorial on Thursday reportedly ascribed blame to him for overwhelming inspection crowds.

In a statement, he described the editorial as bizarre, unfortunate and misplaced.

Sinanan explained that the law requires the registered owner of a motor vehicle to submit his motor vehicle to submit their vehicles for inspection at stipulated timelines.

He said this has been the law for 20 years and owners of motor vehicles ought to have known that this forms part of their responsibility of motor vehicle ownership.

However, he said that unfortunately, as in many aspects of life in Trinidad and Tobago, laws are complied more in the breach than in the observance.

“This reality often times results in citizens resisting the implementation of law and order sometimes at their own personal detriment. We all as citizens are required to accept a level of personal responsibility for our own affairs and make every effort to comply with the laws of our country if we desire a better nation,” Sinanan said.

The Works and Transport Minister added that moratorium granted by the government which expired on December 31 is not the cause for the overwhelming crowds.

However, he accused motorists of waiting until the last week of the moratorium.

“The moratorium granted by the Government which expired on December 31st, 2018 is not the cause. The depletion of inspection books yesterday is not the cause. The incontrovertible fact is that citizens have failed to utilize the five (5) month period granted to them to become compliant with the law.

They have waited on the last week of the five (5) month period to crowd inspection centres and placed an obvious burden on resources which resulted in some cases in a depletion of inspection books but not inspection stickers as was erroneously asserted in the editorial and in many quarters,” Sinanan said.

He added that had citizens embraced the full five month moratorium period, inspections centres would not have faced overcrowding as is being experienced at this time and persons would have had ample time to inspect their vehicles without this inconvenience.

Sinanan reiterated that situation is not the Ministry’s fault.

He said it points to the laissez faire attitude by many of us as citizens when it comes to taking personal responsibility to do what is right outside of robust enforcement of law and order.

Sinanan acknowledged that the rush to have vehicles inspected did cause some depletion of the stock of inspection books yesterday but noted this was immediately addressed by the Government Printery whose staff worked overtime to ensure that the stocks are replenished and that citizens get their vehicles inspected.

He added that he is not the enforcer of law but a policy maker.

Sinanan said reminding citizens to comply with the law to avoid sanctions cannot be interpreted as a threat and reiterated the assertion by the editorial as unjustified and baseless.

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