THE most frequent traffic offences before the Honiara Magistrates’ Court is one of using unlicensed motor vehicle and driver without a driver’s licence, according to a Honiara Magistrate.
Principal Magistrate Leonard Chite made this sentiment when imposing a $3,000 fine each to two men who had confessed to these traffic offences on Wednesday.
“There have been countless warnings provided by the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF), other non-government and government organisations on the need to have a valid motor vehicle and driver’s licence.
“Yet, the offence is still categorised as one of the most frequent charge coming before the Magistrate’s Court,” Chite said.
Chite added that drivers and vehicle owners need to understand the obligation on their part to make sure that such laws are not easily flouted by non-compliant individuals who wish to cheat the system in earning income without paying for the necessary fees and requirements attached thereto.
Timothy Bobongi Waisele had pleaded guilty to one count of using unlicensed motor vehicle and one count of driving without a driver’s licence while Joshua Jackson Lui pleaded guilty to one count of permitting unlicensed motor vehicle and one count of permitting unlicensed driving.
Chite said he considers the blatant ignorance of the accused Bobongi to renew his driving licence in due time as serious.
“It had been expired since May 2019, almost a year ago.
“He is a taxi driver and should know better.
“The fact that he drives around without a valid licence and invalid motor vehicle in my view is foolish, he had put innocent lives of passengers, pedestrians and other road users at risk.
“The purpose to renew licence is so it can undergo inspection at the Ministry of Infrastructure Development (MID), a vehicle does not have a life in perpetuity or forever, it requires a change of brake pads, clutch, oils and other important matters,” he further added.
Chite also considered their early guilty pleas without legal advice, they are both first offenders and they have cooperated well with police.
He then imposed a total fine of $3,000 to each of the accused.
Both men have until August 5 to pay up their fine.
Failure to pay their fine by then will result in a six-month imprisonment.
Police Prosecutor Rodney Waokea appeared for the Crown.
By ASSUMPTA BUCHANAN