Hike spot fines: Chihuri

HARARE - Government must steeply hike spot fines to make them more punitive to stem road crime and carnage, police commissioner-general Augustine Chihuri said yesterday.

The police chief told the parliamentary portfolio committee on Transport and Infrastructural Development — which was touring the law enforcement agency’s transport management and computerisation centre at Chikurubi — that legislators should push for steep fines for traffic violations, including drunken driving; measures he claimed would introduce discipline on some of the country’s most dangerous roads.

“The fines are such that once you pay, you forget it. Take for example in Germany, if you commit an offence, they take all your number plates and for you to get one plate (back), you need to fork out $10 000, which is $20 000 for the two,” Chihuri told the lawmakers.

“I think for us, the number of people who commit road offences will continue to increase because of small fines. But with the new system, all this will be a thing of the past.”

Chihuri claimed spot fines and spikes were lawful.

“Yes spikes are legal.…spot fines are also legal. People forget that as police, we need to be protected from criminals. Everyone sees our mistakes because we work with people all the time,” he said.

In justifying stiffer penalties, Chihuri said last year alone, 36 police officers were injured, with three of them getting killed after being hit by motorists trying to escape arrest.

This comes after Chihuri, Home Affairs minister Ignatius Chombo and Attorney-General, Prince Machaya, in November last year unanimously conceded that it was unconstitutional for traffic police officers to detain and demand payment of spot fines from motorists at roadblocks.

The trio made the concessions in response to a High Court application filed by a Harare motorist, Andrew Makunura, who was ordered to pay a spot fine for not having a radio listener’s licence, but went on to file a constitutional challenge against payment of spot fines.

Chihuri’s sentiments came after Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa in the 2017 budget hiked standard fines — which were last reviewed in February 2009 — by up to 100 percent with effect from January 1.

Chinamasa, like Chihuri, also argued that the penalty structure had been found to be ineffective, given the rising road fatalities that were largely attributed to the failure by motorists to observe road rules.

Comments (6)

ndakamboona motor yepolice yainge yafa instead yekuisa reflective triangle vainge vakaisa chigubhu. the other day one of their pick up truck yanga isina kana mastop lights even zvima cover zvema lights zviya. mumwe musi ndakaona big ud truck ichibuda moris yakatakura marecruits mmm hamheno maybe it's part of their training kufamba ne gindron. cde tangai magadzira dzenyu

facts - 24 February 2017

Some of the vehicles that the police use are just but ramshackles besides these new ones.We do not want to see such ramshacles on our roads.What image are they portraying?

bcars - 24 February 2017

Of course Mr Chihuri we expect you to recommend for high spot fines because every roadblock has a cash target for you personally. BUT you are VERY WRONG in your conclusion on road carnage let me help you. All national roads were done by Smith's regime and their lifespan expired 20 years back (when you should have stepped down). The volume of traffic has increased exponentially for these single lane roads. The volume of heavy duty trucks (due to the demise of NRZ) has increased its so frustrating sharing a single lane with those huge trucks travelling at30km per hour. The roads are in a deplorable state - potholes. Non availability of genuine motor spare parts especially tyres. Excessive presence of road blocks one every 20km its ridiculous. Fix those first and bad/drunken driving last.

Sinyo - 24 February 2017

Usatiudze zveku Germany. Dealer necorruption sezvairi saPC. Kwete kwutsvaga maitiro enyika dzisina huori wounza muNyika yamakaodza. Vaoresi mapererwa nezvekuodza, Zvino muchatanga kuora imi

Munhu1 - 24 February 2017

haa this is madness corruption ikuitika now coz vanhu vakutadza kubhadhara 20 yema spot fine they resort to pay 3 or 5 ku porisi iri paroad block .know mukazoty vabhadhare say 1000 mapurisa ndoanopfuma kaa

mombe - 25 February 2017

Madzibaba/Mudzidzi Chihuri please dont allow emotions to corrode the bigger part of your brain cells,i.e high spot does not eliminate road accidents ,for is more to it than what meets the eye,for example ,vehicles no longer serviceable ,poor savings for working class,fake spare parts,gullies on roads thereby shortening vehicles life span etc... Dai ndirini would first carry out serious investigations on causes of roads canage ,have public input and may be increase Traffic safety Awareness sezvinoitwa Traffic Safety BOARD kwete kungomhanya, mamboendawo paKrawa here? By the way HOW HAVE U SET aside for similar events? Prevention z better than cure!!! Hamozivi ,mo prescribba ma Panadol/Pain killers zvimwe ijeko raita musoro uteme, Ongorora chikonzero .... Tuku singing

madzdzbba - 28 February 2017

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.