The dreaded police roadblocks which disappeared soon after President Emmerson Mnangagwa came to power in November last year are on their way back to “tame” the present traffic jungle.
According to Finance Minister, Mthuli Ncube, police could be assisted by soldiers at the roadblocks as he said “security forces will be deployed to assist in the enforcement of traffic regulations, thereby taming the jungle that currently exists”.
Ncube said this during his presentation of the 2019 budget where he hiked traffic fines up to a maximum of $700 or imprisonment of up to 12 months.
Zimbabwe has witnessed serious traffic accidents, which killed more than 80 people, over the past two weeks.
The accidents were attributed to human error arising from people failing to observe road traffic regulations.
“The most common offences committed include, proceeding against a red robot, overtaking over solid line, in particular, at robots, encroaching onto oncoming traffic to avoid congestion, dropping passengers at undesignated points, driving without head or side lights, cutting corners when turning right and failing to stop when instructed to do so by the police, among others,” he said.
This was largely because the current traffic fines were not acting as a deterrent to criminal behaviour because they were too low.
The current fines are up to a maximum of US$30.
“In order to promote road safety culture by adhering to road traffic regulations, the Budget proposes that any person who commits such offenses be liable to fines of levels 8 to 10, which attract a maximum fine of US$700 and imprisonment for a period not exceeding 12 months,” he said.
The new fines and the roadblocks will be effected from 1 January 2019.