$100 traffic fines take effect

policePamela Shumba Senior Reporter
PUNITIVE traffic fines of up to $100 come into effect today as the government steps up efforts to reduce carnage on the country’s roads.

Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa announced the upward review of traffic fines while presenting the 2016 National Budget in November.

Minister Chinamasa said the move was meant to instil a sense of discipline among motorists and reduce carnage on the roads.

He said the current scale of fines was not deterrent enough for motorists to adhere to the traffic rules and regulations.

The Minister said motorists will now pay a $100 fine for offences that attracted $20. These include proceeding through a red robot, overtaking over a solid white line, driving without a driver’s licence or driving a vehicle without a functioning foot brake.

He said for failing to signal slowing down, stopping or turning right or left, cutting a corner, encroaching over white lines at a robot and abusive behaviour, offenders will now pay $20 up from $10.

For double parking, leaks of fuel and oil, discarding rubbish from vehicles or spitting in or from vehicles offenders will pay $10 up from $5.

The Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe (TSCZ) yesterday reminded motorists that it was an offence not to have the required tools when travelling, as per the new traffic regulations.

“Among other requirements, all vehicles must be equipped with a serviceable spare wheel, an efficient jack, a wheel brace or wheel spanner capable of undoing the vehicle’s wheel nuts and a serviceable fire extinguisher, at least 0,5kg for light vehicles and at least 1,5kg for heavy vehicles,” reads part of the TSCZ statement.

The regulations do not apply to vehicles bearing foreign registration number plates that are in transit or on temporary entry permits.

According to a recent transport parliamentary committee report, nearly 30,000 people were killed in road accidents between 1997 and 2013, with nearly 288,000 being injured over the same period.

Eighty five percent of the accidents were blamed on human error.

An average of five people have died daily in road traffic accidents between 2009 and last year, while two were injured every hour, according to the 2014 Annual Zimbabwe Republic Police Traffic Report.

During the period, the country witnessed a surge in road traffic accidents.

This was attributed to an increased vehicle population following improved economic performance that saw more people importing cheaper, used Japanese cars.

Drunken driving, fatigue, use of cellphones when driving and going through red robots were cited as among the cause of accidents.

Bad roads, stray animals, inadequate road signage and markings were also cited.

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