New fines: Kombi operators cry foul

HARARE - Greater Harare Commuter Operators Association secretary-general Ngoni Katsvairo says the new $100 traffic fines are far from the solution to road carnage as government would have motorists believe.

Motorists this week awoke to steep new fines for various traffic offences from between $5 and $20 to a maximum of $100 following their approval by Parliament.

The fines became effective yesterday with motorists who proceed through a red traffic light, overtake over a solid white line, drive without a licence, or operate faulty vehicles being fined $100 for each offence up from the current $20.

“High fines alone will only serve to increase corruption between bad apples within the enforcers and non-compliant operators,” Katsvairo told the Daily News yesterday.

“For instance what does it help us to fine a driver driving without a licence?

“Police must actually offload the passengers, impound the vehicle and take the driver to court instead of fining him $100 and then he kills passengers 10km after being fined.

“Why let an overloaded or pirating yellow plate pass after fine instead of offloading the excess passengers at the road block, will the fine reduce overload pressure on tyres and prevent road crash?” he questioned.

Government contends that the increase in fines was necessitated by growing carnage on the country’s roads as a result of human error and reckless driving.

However, Katsvairo says if authorities are serious about stopping carnage they would consider enforcing non-cash penalties.

“We also need to introduce deterrent non-cash penalties if we are serious about stopping reckless driving, pirating and non-compliance which are the major cause of road carnage.”

The Greater Harare Commuter Operators Association official implored police officers to lead by example.

“Police need to have a culture of compliance, how do you explain a police officer who is supposed to arrest a kombi at mushika shika (undesignated place) boarding the same kombi at mushika shika?” he questioned before tearing into the country’s custodians of the law.

Katsvairo called on government to clarify some of the fines which seem to have been left to the interpretation of traffic law enforcement agents.

“How do you implement a law that says $100 fine for driving a faulty vehicle, that’s too broad and ambiguous thus subject to abuse by an officer who decides to be corrupt.

“What if everything else is okay and my tail light has just stopped working. Am I expected to also pay $100 fine?” he questioned.

“We need a holistic approach to some issues.

“Why is it that a kombi caught at undesignated place is impounded and fined at least $150 by council and the driver, passenger and tout are left to go scot free?

“They are all players to the offence and must all face the music not just the operator who is forced to pay the $150 fine and the driver goes and takes another kombi to the same place while the same touts and passengers return to the same place every day.”

Comments (3)

Now we need the solid white lines done properly , as this offence at robots causes 90% of the blockages !

John Evans - 4 January 2016

the state is broke,this is not about reducing road carnage its about trying to improve cash for the dry funds.pliz bare with them coz us nurses still need to get paid

ogende ochebe - 4 January 2016

At the moment, nyika yedu iri pa automatic, irikungofamba yega pasina ari in control, zvakaoma, zvinopisa tsitsi.

Mudhara Tianshi - 5 January 2016

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