Penalty points to curb traffic offences

Source: The Herald – Breaking news.

Penalty points to curb traffic offences 
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi

Remember Deketeke

Herald Reporter

The penalty points system and its automatic suspension or revocation of a driving licence, when the total reaches the limit is being adopted by Zimbabwe, to urgently deal with traffic offences as well as curb road carnages.

At present those found guilty of the less major traffic offences simply pay a fine and face no further action. 

Under a penalty point scheme, the authorities keep a record of the demerit points accumulated by drivers, which might be one point for some very minor infringement and points for more serious offences.

In a panel discussion with Zimbabwe Republic Police spokesperson Commissioner Paul Nyathi and Zimbabwe Passenger Transport Organisation (ZPTO) chairperson Dr Samson Nhanhanga last Friday, the Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe managing director, Mr Munesu Munodawafa,  said this would help persuade drivers to comply with road rules.

“Normally if all was well, we would not expect such a system to be put in place,” he said.

“Our statistical analysis shows that about 94 percent of the accidents in Zimbabwe are attributable to human error, so the Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Development, Mr Felix Mhona, has said let us encourage the human being, perhaps through this measure, to behave in a positive way.”

Furthermore, Mr Munodawafa said this was not a harsh policy against drivers, but a measure to curb road carnage.

“What has been happening is that the issue of accidents is recent and has taken centre stage, which has prompted the Government to look for measures that will restore the quality of drivers Zimbabwe once had,” he said.

Police spokesperson Comm Paul Nyathi said rogue drivers will be brought to book.

“The penalty point system, which is being mooted by the Government, is very clear in terms of the implementation modalities where, if a driver commits a particular traffic offence, indicates that the police have to be involved,” he said.

This initiative will be anchored on the information communication and technology systems integration strategy implemented by the Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage, aimed at automating work processes to enhance efficiency and effectiveness.

Meanwhile, Dr Nhanhanga agreed with the panel on the implementation of the penalty points system, but urged the Government to increase the bus driver’s age limit.