Blitz against motorists still continuing
Police operation “Tame the Traffic Jungle ‘’, targeting unregistered and unlicenced vehicles, operators offering public transport without proper licencing, and those breaching other traffic regulations continues until further notice, police said yesterday.
Under the ongoing operation, more than 46 400 motorists have been arrested countrywide for committing various offences. This operation has been necessitated by the lawlessness on the roads especially in major cities and towns.
Along with not registering vehicles or keeping licenses up to date, there are public transport offences of unlicensed mushikashika and kombis, and traffic offences including drivers driving the wrong way down one-way roads in the face of oncoming traffic, through red robots and reckless lane violation.
In a statement, national police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said: “The operation is continuing until further notice because we have observed that vehicles without registration number plates are still being driven on the roads while both public service vehicles and private vehicles are still violating traffic rules and regulations,” he said.
Asst Comm Nyathi said they had also observed that haulage trucks were also being driven in both residential suburbs and city centres.
“Meanwhile, the ZRP reports that a total of 46 486 arrests have been effected during the on-going operation, “Tame the Traffic Jungle”. 1 319 arrests have been made on vehicles without route permits while 15 268 arrests have been made on illegal pirate taxis (mushikashika).
“A total of 345 motorists have been arrested for reckless driving, while 3 223 people have been arrested for touting. Meanwhile,1 114 vehicles have been impounded for moving on the roads with no registration plates,” he said.
Police and other key stakeholders recently launched an operation targeting vehicles driven in breach of the law, including unregistered and unlicenced vehicles, pirate taxis and pirate kombis, and drivers committing driving and parking offences as authorities step up efforts to ensure compliance with road laws.
Flouting of laws had become routine, particularly in urban areas prompting the police, the Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe, Vehicle Examination Department, the Insurance Council of Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwe National Roads Administration, the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority and city councils to launch the co-ordinated operation.
Motorists and operators who want to reclaim their vehicles have to obtain all the required vehicle documents and be cleared by the Vehicle Theft Squad, VID and Zimra.
The blitz has also resulted in some errant transport operators hiking their fares, taking advantage of the shortage of public transport although public pressure has seen most retain the pre-blitz fares.
Police are also accounting for unroadworthy vehicles and public service vehicles which do not have legal documents such as insurance, route authority and certificate of fitness. Vehicle owners who leave broken-down vehicles on the road while blocking traffic with some using tree branches and stones as warning signs instead of proper reflective triangles will not be spared.
Police are also taking action against illegal fittings on motor vehicles, for example, bar lights used in violation of Statutory Instrument 129 of 2015 Road Traffic (Construction, Equipment and Use) Regulations.
Farming equipment such as tractors and combine harvesters driven on highways disregarding relevant regulating statutes will also be impounded.