—Government says a new regulation under the Road Traffic Act is pending clearance at the Ministry of Justice which will compel passenger public service vehicles to be painted with orange lines of ten centimetres as opposed to painting the whole vehicle.
Speaking at a press briefing in Lusaka today, Transport, Works, Supply and Communications Deputy Minister, Panji Kaunda, said all passenger public services vehicle operators have been given one year grace period in which to comply with the new regulation once cleared by the Ministry of Justice.
Col Kaunda said under the new regulation operators who own more than 30 passengers public service vehicles will be at liberty to seek exemption from the director of Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) and apply for their own corporate colour.
However, Col Kaunda said the new regulation exempts luxury buses and coaches.
Meanwhile, Col Kaunda says government is losing huge sums of revenue from taxi operators who are operating without the road service license.
The Deputy Minister stated that the development has resulted in operators who are duly licensed to protest.
Col Kaunda disclosed that civil servants are among the culprits with vehicles operating as unregistered taxies.
He said operating a Taxi without a license amounts to money laundering and tax evasion.
The Deputy Minister has since warned public service vehicles for hire operating without the road service license to register or face the wrath of the law.
He said the law would not be applied selectively noting that any operator – be it a civil servant or private operator – will be dealt with accordingly.
And Col Kaunda says government is in a process of introducing weekend jails for drivers found drunk.
He explained that any driver found drunk will be arrested for five weekends as a deterrent to compel drivers from drinking.