Wednesday, April 09, 2003 Ė Saint Lucian drivers will soon be paying more
for their drivers licence. In delivering his 2003/2004 Budget Address, Prime
Minister, Honourable Dr. Anthony has proposed to increase the triennium charge
for a driverís license from $150 to $300, meaning that each driver would be
required to pay $50 more per year. Dr. Anthony expects that this measure would
yield an additional $1 million for the fiscal year, out of which funds will be
used to strengthen police traffic patrols and improve overall law enforcement on
streets and highways.
According to the Prime Minister, this has become necessary because of the great
number of drivers on the road and consequently the increasing number of vehicles
that are placing a strain on the islandís road network. In fact Dr. Anthony
revealed road maintenance costs are increasing and there is need to find the
means of meeting these costs. In addition, over the past few years there has
been an increasing recklessness and irresponsibility among some drivers. ďA
driverís license confers on the holder a serious responsibility, which
unfortunately, many of our drivers choose to ignore. We must begin to tackle
with resolve the issue of road safety. We cannot afford to lose our citizens to
recklessness and irresponsibility on our roads,Ē Dr. Anthony said.
Dr. Anthony believes that in addition to meeting the increasing cost of
maintaining the road network, resources must be allocated to address the serious
issues pertaining to road safety. Whilst more developed countries use a system
of tolls as a means of raising revenue to meet the cost of road security and
safety, the Government of Saint Lucian has chosen not to go this route because
of the associated cost in introducing a toll system.