THE Zimbabwe National Roads Administration yesterday unveiled a US$60 000 high-tech patrol vehicle and 25 scanners to ensure all motorists comply with the new vehicle licensing system.
The vehicle and scanners were handed over to the Zimbabwe Republic Police and Harare City Council to enable them to immediately start enforcing the law.
The development comes amid reports that only 350 000 vehicles were licensed by the end of the June 30 deadline under the new vehicle licensing system out of an estimated 800 000 vehicles.
The vehicle has electronic gadgets directly linked to Zinara’s national vehicle database and video recorders.
He warned that stringent measures would be taken against motorists who have failed to comply.
The car has an automatic number plate recognition device with an all-weather infrared camera.
Handing over the equipment in Harare yesterday, Minister of Transport, Communication and Infrastructure Development Nicholas Goche bemoaned the failure by some motorists to observe traffic laws.
“Government is committed to the provision of a sound road infrastructure countrywide. In this regard my ministry through Zinara is mandated to collect fuel levy, toll fees, abnormal loads and overload fees, transit fees and vehicle licence fees,” Minister Goche said.
“To realise optimal collection of revenue we have embarked on computerisation of vehicle licences and this has started yielding positive results. We will soon be moving towards computerisation of the tolling system.
“However, the motoring public must comply with licence requirements. Some of the road users do not want to contribute to road maintenance, but they still want to use the roads.”
The minister said the equipment would enable law enforcement authorities and Zinara officials to detect stolen vehicles and fake licence discs.
Government has been losing revenue as a result of motorists not licensing their vehicles.
“I am informed that out of the approximate 800 000 vehicle population in Zimbabwe only 350 000 have complied and we will take stringent measures to ensure that laws are complied with,” Minister Goche said.
Speaking at the same occasion Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri warned motorists evading vehicle licensing saying the law will catch up with them.
“I am highly esteemed by this development to receive this state-of-the-art gadget to check licensing of vehicles. This has been long overdue,” said Comm Gen Chihuri.
Zinara introduced the new licence disc with high security features to curb counterfeiting.
The authority was losing over US$20 million in potential revenue yearly to motorists who do not renew their vehicle licences.
The new system also aims to capture the actual number of cars on Zimbabwe’s roads.
Road licence fees are used together with tollgate fees, overload fees and transit fees to maintain highways and construct new roads.
Zinara has also indicated that all unlicensed vehicles will no longer pass through tollgates when it takes over operations at 21 tolling points on the country’s highways.