Minister: Transport Control Department Update

February 28, 2020 | 26 Comments

“As of April 01, 2020, legislation will reflect that the only legal licence plates for motor cars will be a white background with black characters,” Minister of Tourism & Transport Zane Desilva said.

Speaking in the House of Assembly today [Feb 28] the Minister said, “I rise today to make a short statement to clear up a few public misconceptions about the Transport Control Department [TCD] and traffic legislation.

“TCD has recently changed its Mission Statement, which now reads ‘To Assure the Safety of All Roads Users.’ With that aim in mind, there has been an increased presence of the department’s Traffic Officers, sometimes working in conjunction with the Bermuda Police Service [BPS].

“On a few occasions the TCD Traffic Officers, after having stopped a motorist to address a traffic infraction, have encountered verbal confrontations and unpleasant exchanges.

“The issue appears to be that many of us are not aware that under the Traffic Offences Procedure Act 1974, TCD Traffic Officers have the same powers as a BPS officer.

“The next issue to be addressed by this statement is the Electronic Vehicle Registration [EVR] System. This system was installed in the mid-2000s and, as is the case with all computer and electronic equipment, especially in our climate, over time it became in need of both software and hardware upgrades.

“While implementing the upgrades, which included installing new cameras, detection devices and antennas, re-wiring corroded connections and installing anti-tampering protection, it was decided to have the Traffic Officers focus more on street patrols, as mentioned above.

“The motoring public must know that the system is working at 100% and is detecting 10,000 – 12,000 activities on a daily basis. Many of these detected activities have already resulted in registered owners answering to charges of using or allowing the use of an uninsured and unlicensed vehicle.

“The Motor Car and Road Traffic [Miscellaneous] Amendment Bill 2020 contained a group of necessary changes to both address outdated legislation and current illegal motoring trends. One provision in the Bill dealt with the confusion surrounding the correct colours for licence plates.

“I want to inform the motoring public that as of April 01, 2020, legislation will reflect that the only legal licence plates for motor cars will be a white background with black characters. This announcement today is designed to give everyone with illegal plates ample time to have the correct licence plates fitted to their respective vehicles.

The Minister’s full statement follows below:

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to make a short statement to clear up a few public misconceptions about the Transport Control Department [TCD] and traffic legislation.

Mr. Speaker, The TCD has recently changed its Mission Statement, which now reads “To Assure the Safety of All Roads Users.” With that aim in mind, there has been an increased presence of the department’s Traffic Officers, sometimes working in conjunction with the Bermuda Police Service [BPS]. On a few occasions the TCD Traffic Officers, after having stopped a motorist to address a traffic infraction, have encountered verbal confrontations and unpleasant exchanges.

Mr. Speaker, The issue appears to be that many of us are not aware that under the Traffic Offences Procedure Act 1974, TCD Traffic Officers have the same powers as a BPS officer. In fact, the definition in the said Act states, “…“police officer” and “officer” include a traffic officer and a traffic warden”. It therefore follows that TCD Traffic Officers have the identical powers as BPS Officers to issue both parking and moving violation summonses to offenders they encounter in the course of carrying out their responsibilities.

Mr. Speaker, The next issue to be addressed by this statement is the Electronic Vehicle Registration [EVR] System. This system was installed in the mid-2000s and, as is the case with all computer and electronic equipment, especially in our climate, over time it became in need of both software and hardware upgrades.

Mr. Speaker, While implementing the upgrades, which included installing new cameras, detection devices and antennas, re-wiring corroded connections and installing anti-tampering protection, it was decided to have the Traffic Officers focus more on street patrols, as mentioned above.

Mr. Speaker, The motoring public must know that the system is working at 100% and is detecting 10,000 – 12,000 activities on a daily basis. Many of these detected activities have already resulted in registered owners answering to charges of using or allowing the use of an uninsured and unlicensed vehicle.

And finally, Mr. Speaker, The Motor Car and Road Traffic [Miscellaneous] Amendment Bill 2020 contained a group of necessary changes to both address outdated legislation and current illegal motoring trends. One provision in the Bill dealt with the confusion surrounding the correct colours for licence plates.

Mr. Speaker, As I stated in my Brief explaining the Bill, the necessary work to change motor car licence plates from black with white letters and numbers to white with black markings was completed in July of 1975. An administrative mix-up at the time led to the confusion that exists today; meaning some people continued to believe that it is legal to have black licence plates with white characters.

Mr. Speaker, I want to inform the motoring public that as of April 01, 2020, legislation will reflect that the only legal licence plates for motor cars will be a white background with black characters. This announcement today is designed to give everyone with illegal plates ample time to have the correct licence plates fitted to their respective vehicles.

In closing, Mr. Speaker, the Transport Control Department takes its mission seriously – “To Assure the Safety of All Roads Users” – and the Department will continue to review and update legislation and its practices and processes to support this mission.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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Comments (26)

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  1. Boston Whaler Owner says:

    Sit Down Zane!

  2. PC says:

    Why go against the flow of water? The black license plates with white text looks better and if people want them on their car, make them official and charge extra for them. More moneys the debt and people can have their choice of color.

    • safety says:

      Clearly, the plates look cool but in a extreme situation the contrast could pay a role in justice being served. They could propose a standard alternative one day if you put action to your words.

    • Equilibrium says:

      Good Comment. Bone headed, hard headed ministers. Opportunity missed! Many times they don’t think!

    • Andrew Woodworth says:

      Having a single standard makes optical character recognition easier for the behind-the-camera AI that will be writing tickets for traffic offences.

      • Toodle-oo says:

        The ‘single standard’ has been in effect since the first car went on the road. Back then it was the same font used now but white numbers on a black background. Then it was decided sometime in the early 70′s I believe , that black numbers on a white background were better and it changed to that , same size plate and font style. Then DrEB allowed the ‘Bermuda is another world’ vanity plates as the ONLY other choice .
        The problem is that a whole bunch of people decided to do their own thing and the police never enforced the law so it seemed that we had a bunch of license plate styles to legally chose from when everyone using them knew full well they were illegal as the car/bike would not pass TCD inspection with them on.

    • JohnBoy says:

      Why not just simply do the right thing??

  3. So you mean to tell me the plates that where made legal under your government and paid for at tcd ie
    Under the good docter is no longer valid..How about revising also the use of the TT trailers for hauling sand ..opps that hurt your pockets mr minister..

  4. JohnnyB says:

    Why the F do I have to pay an annual fee for a “custom” license plate? Cherrypicking to few

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      I would like to have a ‘vanity’ plate, as they are known. I would pay a little extra to have one. I am NOT going to pay extra for it every year though. Bottom line, I still have a stock plate.

      I don’t pay extra. The Government gets nothing extra from me for their greed.

  5. Really says:

    Really? Let’s fix them license plates Zane and don’t worry about fixing the air arrivals or buses which are critical to Bermuda’s tourism industry! And if these “traffic officers” have the same powers as Police then I hope they have all the proper training and experience as our Police officers? I know they don’t!

  6. government gate says:

    My father’s plates were black with white text in the 1990s. This is not a new concept. This island has bigger issues to solve than license plates aesthetics.

    • Question says:

      It’s not a question of aesthetics.

    • Toodle-oo says:

      If your father had a black plate with white numbers in the 90′s it was illegal. We switched to the white background/black numbers sometime in the early 70′s I believe.

  7. Frank says:

    Just obey the law

  8. Frank says:

    What about the personal name plates

  9. Frank says:

    They do not need 4 weeks or more to change a licence plate
    24 hrs is all that should be given

  10. Shag says:

    It’s my understanding that legistration was already in place regarding car license plates and has been for decades. Black number on whites background. Why do you need new legistration. It’s only relatively lately that vanity plates have been allowed

    • Question says:

      Vanity plates were brought in by the PLP in their first term, about 2000. Pale blue letters on a white background.

  11. Trump supporter says:

    Hank must be back from cruising,he been quite.
    Or was he doing the bid to knock down the old police station. As I don’t recall seeing it going out to tendor.

  12. Toodle-oo says:

    Long overdue to crack down on these illegal plates , many of which seem intentionally illegible. And the owners KNOW that they’re illegal because they have to put the plate that the car came with back on to get through TCD every year !
    As for the minister’s statement that the only legal plates will be the black numbers on the white background , does that mean that those awful ‘Bermuda is another world’ plates will no longer be issued ?

  13. Question says:

    They also need to do something about bikes. Plenty of them intentionally obscure their number plates with locks. Riding uninsured and unlicensed is basically an everyday occurrence for many people.

    • PBanks says:

      Govt could really tick off bike owners by mandating a licence plate on the front of the vehicle

  14. Y-gurl says:

    Well its still TCD, the most dysfunctional, backward and bias Department bar none, they still operate on who you are, and do not treat that as a business that generates revenue, the commercial department is a shambles and with the board and leadership they have its not going to get better

  15. Jerry says:

    The minister of transtourism and premier wanna be

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