Motorists who evade paying toll fees by using by-passes and individuals who allow their private roads or premises to be used as by-passes are now liable to pay a fine of $20 000 following the criminalisation of such acts by the Government.
In Statutory Instrument published in the Government Gazette, vending and loitering around tollgates is now also prohibited and punishable.
Anyone caught vending or loitering around the tollgate area, one will now pay a fine of $2 000.
In the event of a breakdown or otherwise, any vehicle that remains on the tolling point booth or blocks use of any tolling booth for a period exceeding 30 minutes shall be subject to a penalty of the applicable toll fee for such a vehicle for every 30 minutes it remains blocking the tolling point or part thereof.
In the SI, Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Felix Mhona said: “Any person who utilizes or allows the use of his or her private road as a by-pass shall be guilty of an offence and liable to pay to Zinara, for the benefit of the road fund, a fine not exceeding level 5.
“Any person who leaves or places on or over any road, at a tolling point, anything with the intention to cause or realizing that there is a real risk or possibility of obstructing such road or endangering persons using it shall be guilty of obstructing or endangering the free movement of traffic and liable to pay to Zinara for the benefit of the road fund, a fine not exceeding level 5.”
At law, Zinara, or the department of roads in the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development acting on behalf of Zinara, are now empowered to close by-passes within the 1km radius of the tollgate.
Zinara public relations and marketing manager Tendai Mugabe welcomed this development, saying it would go a long way in raising funds for road development and bringing sanity at the tollgates.
“This is also a welcome and timely inte vention as we are battling to bring sanity at the toll gates and to raise funds for the Emergency Road Rehabilitation 2 (ERRP2),” said Mr Mugabe.
“We have been losing substantial amounts of money meant for road rehabilitation as a result of these by-passes.
“We are also battling to remove vendors at our tolling sites because a tollgate is a security area where we do not allow vending and aimless loitering.”
Mr Mugabe said Zinara was rebranding and as part of that drive they do not want motorists to be delayed at toll gates as a result of breakdowns or actions of other motorists who might unnecessarily block the paying booths.