THE Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) has warned that the recent hike in fines for traffic offences may abet escalation of corrupt engagements among police officers and motorists.
The Zambia Police announced on Monday the increase in fines for traffic offences which will now range from K225 to K450 depending on the nature of the offence.
YALI governance advisor Isaac Mwanza said the revised fees had been introduced without putting up mechanisms of addressing corruption among traffic police officers.
“The Ministry of Finance should have considered this measure of increasing traffic fines and fees only when mechanisms are in place to ensure the fines are collected in a way that ensures that the fines collected actually reach the Treasury.
“The Government is further reminded that the current enforcement of the traffic regulations by our traffic police is in violation of the law as vehicles are impounded even for infractions that do not require that vehicles are impounded,” Mr Mwanza said.
He said that police officers impounded vehicles to force motorists to pay on the spot, including fines which, under the current law, could be deferred.
Zambia needed a surveillance system which would monitor the activities of traffic officers on the road and which, in the long term, penalised motorists who violated traffic laws.
Mr Mwanza said his organisation was concerned with the increased number of roadblocks and checkpoints being mounted by the traffic officers.
He said the roadblocks mounted did not take into account the serious damage being done to the roads at the points where they were being mounted.
Mr Mwanza appealed to Home Affairs Minister Davies Mwila to enforce his order that the police should reduce the number of unnecessary roadblocks and checkpoints across the country because they had become an inconvenience.
“Motorists, including those hauling vital goods into and around the country, are subjected to endless police checks, as many as 15 between Nakonde and Ndola or between Livingstone and the Copperbelt,” he said.
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