Overhaul Traffic Act to curb corruption

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The move by Parliament to push for the scrapping of spot fines demanded by traffic police is a step in the right direction as the country takes steps to stamp out endemic corruption within the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP).

NewsDay Editorial

But the parallel call to prohibit second-hand tyre imports — deemed a major contributor to traffic accidents — though welcome, should be implemented when the country can produce enough tyres for the domestic market.

It is, therefore, imperative that an enabling environment be created for local tyre manufacturers to meet demand.

It is, however, laudable that the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Transport and Infrastructural Development in the National Assembly came up with the proposals as the country’s transport network has become a national catastrophe both in terms of the rampant corruption and bad driving habits.

There are arguments that spot fines encourage corruption among traffic police, since offenders might prefer to pay much less than the penalty value to the person collecting the fine.

Regrettably, the ZRP now prioritises collecting spot fines in order to reach set targets ahead of passenger safety because, after collecting the fines, they allow unroadworthy vehicles to proceed.

The motoring public is agreed that spot fines and the “targets” by the ZRP should be abolished and offenders must be given seven days to pay the fine.
Spot fines must be applied only to foreigners!

The current situation where police prefer to fine commuter omnibus drivers for serious defects and let them proceed on their routes has a bearing on the safety of passengers.

While the spot fines are meant to reduce indiscipline on the country’s roads and prevent minor traffic offences, they have led to major traffic accidents and that is unacceptable.

Their intended purpose of ensuring increased compliance with road traffic regulations; facilitating and quickening the administration of justice for traffic offenders regarding minor offences; reducing pressure on the police and the courts with respect to the process and adjudication of minor offences, though noble, has been usurped by greedy traffic police and errant public transport drivers.

The situation is untenable and needs a radical shift in policy and a revamp of the police force for the good of the country.

Other laudable reforms proposed by the portfolio committee are that the government must increase the fines charged for traffic offences to make them deterrent enough, as well as enactment of appropriate regulations on driving hours, vehicle movements, and restrictions on tractors and other farming equipment, construction equipment and tankers carrying hazardous substances so they do not move at night.

It is important that the rough edges of the Traffic Act be refined to curb corruption and improve road safety.

12 COMMENTS

  1. The road traffic act and its numerous regulations are enough to curb the road carnage. What is needed is police officers who know what to do when manning road blocks .

  2. Why have we not introduced ‘four way stop’ especially when traffic lights are not working. This does not need money. A matter of changing the act. Funny how as a country we a quick at enacting laws dealing with wealth redistribution etc yet when it comes to laws that save lives………… How does it help anyone to amass wealth and not have life. To build a house with a golden driveway and have potholes next to your gate. For people to run boreholes when the combined resources that each individual uses could easily suffice in having proper infrastructure that is cheaper for everyone.

  3. as soon as this implemented, the corruption will move from the police force to vid whose corruption is well managed at present. the system is so evil.

  4. Its a welcome development but still people will pay not to have the ticket written.
    They need to further adjust the penalty for minor offenses to $3-$5. This seems very low amount but it will eradicate bribes by about 90%.
    My reasoning being, a ticket for $20 will make the offender offer $5 for the ticket not to be written. The police will make sure they collect those $5 bribes than write a ticket to the state. Therefore if the penalty is low, the money will come to the state coffers.

    Also a person is willing to have the ticket and pay it after those days.

  5. Valid point,just reduce fine and give time to pay.If one fails to pay will see his or her tickets upon licencing vehicle.Simple and huori panenge pasisina

  6. On v.i.d,government must privetise the testing of vehicles and only get involved when an accident happens to see if vehicle was fit as per any testing company which had passed that vehicle.If vihicle wasn’t fit but displaying c.o.f then gvment charges both owner of vehicle and testing company.Corruption will end one time.

  7. This is what I think can be a solution…
    -Comuputerise the Car Vehicle Registation system, link it to the Traffic Fines System and Zinara, the vehicle licensing arm. That defaulters of traffic fines can be traced, cannot be allowed to pay vehicle license till they have cleared their fines.

    -Create a system of points on the driver’s license to curb habitual offenders on traffics laws. This system should ensure that you lose points when you commit traffic offenses, also depending on the gravity of the offense.

    -A mailing system of traffic fines to those who run red robots, stop signs, zebra crossing and run away from police officer.

    Accidents and corruption can be dealt with to the minimum, it’s only a matter of political will.

  8. As long as economic hardships continue to exist, human beings will always devise ways of getting money out of any system you implement

  9. What if I don’t have time to go to the Police station to pay i have my $20 i am ready to pay and forgrt about it.
    I personally think the rule or law must accommodate both sides of the coin.

  10. @Hoko pamunda,you must be crazy.can you busy for the rest of the month?if you are ready to pay,then it means you must create your time for it.organize your poor self.

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