Motor vehicle app to verify ownership of vehicles at refuelling pumps

by Curlan Campbell, NOW Grenada

  • General public designated day for refuelling is today, Thursday, 9 April 2020
  • Motoring public to adhere to protocols to ease access through checkpoints
  • Motorists advised to display passes, insurance, and photo ID

Officers with the Traffic Department will on Friday, 10 April 2020, utilise a motor vehicle application to verify essential workers who are permitted to refuel are the owners of the vehicles. This measure was deemed necessary as it was observed that persons have attempted to abuse the system by attempting to refuel more than once with other vehicles not registered on their names.

The announcement came as only essential workers will be allowed to refuel at selected gas stations around the island including Deco Servicenter; R&R Service Station at Grand Bras, St Andrew; Victoria Service Centre, and SOL Otway Service Station at Tanteen, St George.

Superintendent Randy Connaught, Officer in Charge of the Traffic Department of the RGPF, outlined the new protocols under which officers will be guided. He said that police will verify each vehicle at the pumps to ensure compliance with the Emergency Powers Covid-19 Number 3 regulations SRO #17 2020.

“I have since deployed with my officers the capability to access our motor vehicle app to verify whether or not the vehicles that are coming to the pumps are indeed owned by the individual. Drivers should walk with whatever documentation by way of your insurance certificate to show the claim of ownership to that vehicle if you are seeking to access the pumps from henceforth, going forward,” Supt Connaught said.

Over the next days, police officers will be strictly enforcing parish boundary regulations to ensure that persons with a special access permit to traverse the roads do not abuse their privilege. “We would continue our efforts with the static checks points to ensure that persons within parish boundaries do not use the opportunity, even though you have a special access permit, to move without a sense of purpose. We want persons to ensure that whenever you move, it must be with a sense of purpose. Your permit is not an exclusive right to just traverse the area,” Supt Connaught explained.

Traffic Department will be increasing mobile patrols throughout the various parishes on both shopping and refuelling days, and persons granted special access permits will be required to be engaged by officers at every checkpoint to verify their legitimacy. “The advice for members of the motoring public is to adhere to some simple protocols that would ease your access through those checkpoints and to ensure that there is no acrimony between you and police officers trying to ensure that laws are applied. To facilitate easy access through police checkpoints, motorists are advised to display their passes and to have a photo ID, and on the approach of every checkpoint you are advised to roll down your windows and to put your house light on if you are travelling by night, so the police can have clear visibility.”

Under the new regulation, the Traffic Department will be implementing a fixed penalty ticketing system with a fine of $500 in the 1st instance, $750 in 2nd instance, and $1,000 for any subsequent offence. Failure to pay within 31 days can see persons face a term of imprisonment of up to 12 months.

Although farmers are considered an essential service, not all category of farmers will be allowed to refuel. Superintendent Vannie Curwen of the Community Relations Department stated that special focus will be placed on having farmers with nursery and animal husbandry to be given preference to refuel. He stated that other sectors of the farming community and the general public will have a designated day for refuelling, which was determined to be Thursday, 9 April 2020. “While we cannot take all of the farmers on any given day, we have to find a systematic and organised way to allow certain sectors of the farming community to come in. Also, the authorities are considering not only farmers across the spectrum of farming but for the general public to refill at some point.”

The public is advised that the next shopping days will be Saturday 11 April, and Sunday 12 April 2020. Shopping will be categorised in by surname in alphabetical order. On Saturday, persons with last names from A to M will be allowed to shop between the hours of 8 am to noon, while persons with surnames starting from N to Z will be allowed to shop between 1-5 pm. On Sunday the process will be reversed as shoppers with surnames starting from N to Z will be allowed to shop first, while persons with last names from A to M will be allowed to shop afterwards.

Shoppers will be required to show a national photo ID or shopping can be refused upon failure to present an ID. The one shopper per household rule still applies.

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