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Smoking vehicle drivers face jail

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Drivers of smoking vehicles face up to three months imprisonment as the Environmental Management Agency (Ema) moves to effect the law controlling pollution.

Ema is lobbying for the removal of smoking vehicles from Zimbabwe’s roads on the grounds that they pose danger to human lives.

Steady Kangata, the Ema spokesperson told NewsDay the agency would work with the police and other authorities to enforce the law — manning roadblocks to collect fines and arresting habitual offenders who would be taken to court where they could be jailed for up to three months.

Last month alone, he said, the agency issued 103 tickets, 11 of which were to bus drivers.

Kangata said efforts were being made to harness mobile sources of air pollution which produced carbon monoxide and smoking vehicles were one major contributor. Industrial mining pollution was another.

“It has been realised that smoking vehicles and industries have a serious threat to human life.

“Statutory instrument 72 of 2009 (Atmospheric Pollution Control Regulation) to control such pollution was introduced in 2009. We have a department in the agency which deals with these issues routinely to reduce levels of emissions from vehicles and industries,” said Kangata.

He said some people, including pregnant women, were susceptible to health problems that could be worsened by vehicle smoke.

“The motoring public must not make other people die due to their smoking vehicles just because they are reluctant to repair them. They must use vehicles which are friendly to the health of the travelling public,” said Kangata.

He said the agency would arrest motorists who used smoking vehicles and fine them $20. If they repeat the offence, they faced a jail term of up to three months.

“After arresting and fining them, we order them off the road until they have repaired their vehicles. We make them sign affidavits which make it criminal for them to drive smoking vehicles,” said Kangata.

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