Govt to introduce smart traffic management

Kazembe Kazembe

HOME Affairs minister Kazembe Kazembe says a pilot smart traffic management project in Harare revealed staggering traffic crime statistics, with at least 1 000 violations committed in less than two hours.

Speaking at the 2022 Senior Officers Conference this week, Kazembe said the police can make as much as US$100 000 in fines every single hour from traffic offences if the project is implemented.

 “There was a company that came and did some demonstration to show how traffic management works and the pilot project which was done along Samora Machel road to show how much traffic offences were being committed every hour. Surprisingly there were 1 000 violations in two hours out of 2 500 vehicles,” Kazembe said.

“That’s almost 50% on one road only between 2 o’clock and 4 o’clock. So we can safely say just in Harare alone, there is a possibility of making US$100 000 in one hour if we charge these traffic offenders.”

Residents say driving in Harare’s central business district (CBD) is a nightmare, especially during peak hours due to traffic congestion.

The chaos is further exacerbated by a flagrant disregard of traffic rules by some drivers, who often drive against oncoming traffic.

Some researchers have said Harare’s congestion woes are caused by the city’s road network which is failing to cope with the increasing number of vehicles in the city.

Kazembe said government intends to fully implement a real-time electronic monitoring of roads, receipting and reconciliation of fines to arrest the flagrant abuse of road rules.

“This was approved by the Cabinet which will see the three departments; police, immigration and civil Registry integrated on one platform. Everything will be computerised, it will make it easy for us to detect crime and it will bring efficiency into our service delivery. It will also bring revenue,” he said.

“The system that we are talking about is going to be deployed and I promise you that by the time we get to April-June next year, we will be having this system in the country.  The cameras will automatically detect traffic offences such as drinking, while driving and so on.

 “Once we deploy these police won’t bother you on the roads because their welfare will be well taken care of. They won’t have any reason to be asking for money at roadblocks as the system will now be bringing revenue. So this is the route that we are going to take and it’s unavoidable.”

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