More than 8,000 people took advantage last year of a vehicle-licensing amnesty that government introduced to help address the problem of derelict vehicles.

Infrastructure Minister Joey Hew said the amnesty also assisted in purging the vehicle-registration system of more than 28,000 cars. The number of vehicles registered on the island in 2015 was 74,000 – this had fallen to 45,659 at the close of 2019.

Hew, speaking in the Legislative Assembly Wednesday, said the amnesty provided a waiver of fees for those who had accrued backlogs for unlicensed vehicles.

“Over 8,000 vehicle owners benefited from the amnesty,” he said. “Of that number, 4,655 vehicles with expired registrations were relicensed; 2,523 vehicle registration were suspended; and 823 vehicles were voluntarily terminated from the register.”

He also said “great strides” were made at the Department of Vehicle and Equipment Services, with the opening of the two-storey, 8,734-square-foot administration building.

“We are reaping the benefits of inventory management and control, which we anticipate will lead to reduced capital expenditure for the department, Ministry and ultimately the Government,” he told lawmakers as he tabled the annual report for 2019 for the Ministry of Commerce, Planning and Infrastructure.

Hew added that work also continues on a new facility at Public Works which will enable the expansion of the apprenticeship programme to have the capacity to train 50 Caymanians, as well as customised classes for persons already working in the industry.

He said the new facility will open in the first quarter of 2021.

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