I’ve read so many compilations of silly, absurd, questionable or eyebrow raising laws from abroad, I decided to put together a short list of some of our local legal gems. Enjoy!
- Carnival season is in full swing! Can you think of anyone who might be an offender?
“Any person who, during the presentation or performance of any stage play or concert or other dramatic or musical entertainment, or of any other form of entertainment whatsoever, or the holding of any dance, in any building or place to which the public is admitted or has access — (a) is indecently attired; (b) performs any lewd or suggestive dancing or actions; …..is liable to a fine of four hundred dollars.” – section 51 of the Summary Offences Act, Chapter 11:02.
- Get a dryer!
Any person who commits this offence in any street, is liable to a fine of two hundred dollars or to imprisonment for one month, where he “hangs or places any clothes on any line or cord projecting over any part of any street, or on any wall, fence or paling abutting upon any street” section 64(1)e of the Summary Offences Act, Chapter 11:02.
- Got a door-bell? Have no fear! Your beauty rest is covered!
Any person who commits this offence in any street, is liable to a fine of two hundred dollars or to imprisonment for one month where he “wantonly disturbs any inhabitant by pulling or ringing any door bell or knocking at any door” – section 64(1)h of the Summary Offences Act, Chapter 11:02.
- For goodness sake, what were they doing?
“Every driver of a taxi on a public road shall be suitably attired.” – Carries a fixed penalty of $750. (Regulation 79 of the Motor Vehicles and Road Traffic Act, Chapter 48:50)
- This is so subjective…
Your vehicle windshield and glass must not be so tinted, treated or darkened so as to obscure the view from outside. (Section 23(1)(d) of the Motor Vehicles and Road Traffic Act, Chapter 48:50)
- Seriously? People do this?
Quitting vehicle before applying the brakes and switching off the engine. Attracts a fixed penalty of $1,000. (Regulation 38, Rule 3 of the Motor Vehicles and Road Traffic Act, Chapter 48:50)
- Let’s be honest now, guilty or not?
Failing to draw up as close as possible to the side of the road – Attracts a fixed penalty of $300. (Regulation 38, Rule 11 of the Motor Vehicles and Road Traffic Act, Chapter 48:50)
- Boarding an airline while carrying bullet shell casings fashioned into keychains. You can be charged with possession of ammunition without a licence and attempting to board an aircraft with ammunition. Bullet keychains are popular and widely available on websites such as Amazon, yet they can land folks in a lot of hot water here. Last year, Canadian national, Brian Doubt, in transit through Trinidad to Canada after visiting his wife in Guyana experienced this first hand. He spent a week in prison before he was able to plead guilty, pay a fine and return home.
- Get authorised!
The importation and wearing of camouflage clothing are illegal, unless authorized by the Minister of National Security or the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force. (See Legal Notice 33 of 1984, section 213 of the Customs Act, Chapter 78:01, section 219 of the Defence Act, Chapter 14:01 & section 98 of the Summary Offences Act, Chapter 11:02.) Though fashionable and popular throughout much of the world, it’s a no-no here.
© Neela Ramsundar, LL.B (HONS), L.E.C Civil Litigation Attorney at Law & Certified Mediator
Disclaimer: The contents of this article are for general informative purposes only. It does not provide legal advice and does not create an attorney – client relationship. For legal advice, please contact an Attorney-at-Law of your choosing directly.