At a time when other governments are slashing prices of essential services as well as providing remedies like paying citizens, the Malawi government is doing the opposite as tough times await motorists with the Directorate of Road Traffic and Safety Services (DRTSS) adjusting upwards fees and penalties for road traffic services and offences.
The road traffick offences fines hiked by over 100% come at a time when schools have closed meaning parents spent savings on transport and extra home budget.
The decision also comes at a time when most employees and business people have gone into voluntary quarantine translating into less income.
However, government announced Friday it had hiked the fines with no remorse or any sense of empathy to delay the announcement until after the Coronavirus scare is over.
The adjustemet also comes after Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) introduced carbon tax to be collected on behalf of government as motorists renew their vehicle certificate of fitness (CoF).
The new fines for the traffic offences are as follows; driving with expired insurance K50 000 driving with expired CoF K30,000.
Fine for failure to carry a driver’s or learner’s licence or professional driving permit, which was initially at K5 000, has been adjusted to K25 000.
The fine for driving a vehicle under the influence of alcohol with above 0.2gramme/210mm breath is now pegged at minimum fine of K30 000 up to K200 000 or a three-year jail term. The drivers will also be suspended from driving for a year.
Motorists who have no certificate of insurance on a vehicle with a capacity of more than 16 passengers but less than 32 would have been paying K500 000 from the current K200 000.
The new fees and fines followed government notices number 75 and 76; Road Traffic Act (CAP.69.01) Road Traffic (Miscellaneous Fees) (Amendment) Regulations 2019 and Road Traffic Act (CAP.69.01) Road Traffic (Prescribed Offences and Penalties) (Amendment) Regulations 2019, respectively.