The Directorate of Road Traffic and Safety Services (DRTSS) says new fines that have been introduced are not meant to punish Malawians but rather to bring sanity on the country’s roads.
The directorate recently introduced fines aimed at among others stopping usage of cars which have not been registered and driving without proper documents.
But the move has angered several stakeholders including the Minibus Owners Association of Malawi (Moam) which has described it as unreasonable.
According to Moam chairperson Felix Mbonekera, the fines coming at a time when government has just introduced carbon taxes that came into effect on November 25 this year which Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) is collecting on behalf of government as motorists renew their vehicle certificate of fitness (CoF), and will take many out of business.
Said Mbonela: “As MOAM we feel some individuals in government are not doing their job properly as regards revenue generation. The end result is that the very same people are the ones paying taxes. Eventually what this will do is take out some people out of business including our members.”
He added: “All in all, for us as Moam, this is a hard blow because as of now the economy is not good and business is not perfect on the roads following stiff competition and introduction of new taxes as well.”
But director of DRTSS Fergus Gondwe defended the move, saying it is their duty to bring sanity on the roads.
“When coming up with fines we do not necessarily mean to punish Malawians but rather to make sure that the roads are safe. If one is driving a car with no proper documentation there are challenges in an event of an accident,” reasoned Gondwe.
A veteran insurer who asked for anonymity concurred with Gondwe that it becomes difficult to settle claims of accidents involving cars with no proper documents.
“We know the economy is tough for many but proper documents are a must on the road because they help in case of accidents,” explained.
Effective New Year’s Day 2020, driving a motor vehicle without a driving licence or a professional driving permit will attract a K15 000 fine, up from K10 000.
Failure to stop a vehicle under traffic order or refusing to comply with directions will cost K20 000 from the current K8 000 while the fine for driving a vehicle under the influence of alcohol with above 0.2gramme/210mm remains at K200 000 or in default a three-year jail term and suspension for a year from driving.
A motorcycle overtaking a motor vehicle in the same lane of traffic with the motorcycle, motor tricycle or overtaking a vehicle at the same time as another motor cycle, will be paying a fine of K10,000.
Road users who leave a vehicle on the same place on a road for over 72 hours will be forking out K30,000.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :