Malawi govt U-turn on move to adjust road traffic penalties, fines: Minister calls for ‘more consultations’

Malawi government has succumbed to pressure from motorist and other road users not to affect its newly adjusted fees and fines for road traffic services and offenses.

Minister of Transport Jappie Mhango: Malawi government has suspended the new penalties and fees for motorists

 

The Directorate of Road Traffic and Safety Services (DRTSS) recently adjusted by over 200 % t fees and fines for road traffic services and offenses in an attempt to reduce increasing cases of road accidents largely blamed on reckless driving.

Adjusted fees were expected to be with effect from November 13.

However, Malawian reacted angrily to the new arrangement many of them said it was a ply of the ruling DPP government of raising campaign money for the 2019 elections.

Others said the adjusted fines would promote corruption among traffic police officers as many motorists would rather opt to bribe the traffic officer to proceed with journey other than pay huge amount of money to government which in turn will also be corruptly used.

Transport Minister Juppe Mhango confirmed to Nyasa Times on Thursday morning that the government has decided to suspend the adjusted fines “to pave way for more consultations and discussions.”

This comes few days after parliamentary said the adjusted fines were invalid as The Directorate of Road Traffic and Safety Services did not consult it.

Parliament said DRTSS has “overstepped its mandate” by rushing to announce the new fees and penalties without the approval of the National Assembly.

Road traffic authorities said in earlier a statement that the adjustments were necessitated by an increase in cost of service and materials that the Directorate uses in order to serve the general public efficiently.

“On the other hand, the continued increase in violations of road traffic laws has shown that the current fines and penalties are not deterrent enough hence the increase,” reads a statement.

Malawi has recently seen an increase in road accidents in which many people have died and several others seriously injured. Many them are blamed on reckless driving.

Acting Director for DRTSS, Fergus Gondwe told journalists on Wednesday that most accidents are caused by over speeding, drink and driving, reckless driving, careless overtaking, ignoring traffic signs, fatigue and overloading.

He said last year, 1,112 people were killed from 962 fatal accidents while from January to September 2017, and 1791 people have been killed in 694 fatal accidents.

Gondwe said road accidents costs the country an estimated 1 percent to 3 percent of the Gross Domestic Product.

“This is between $47.1 million and $193.5 million annually”.

He added that the Ministry of Justice and  Constitutional Affairs  vetted the changes.

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Dangerous Dave
Guest

The Muthalikas have proven to be dangerous people.Very cruel or callous. Bingu made us suffer with fuel shortages. Peter is making us suffer through fines, power outages, etc. This country is in the hands of wizards.

Bustards in DPP
Guest
This is not a question of reckless driving but affordability to pay the fines. While some of us are able to pay the fines think about the many poor drivers whose salaries are below K40,000. At the same time,think about those who are above the law like ministers and the president himself. Do they pay these fines? No. The judges.Do they apy fines? No. The policemen who own vehicles. Do they pay fines no? It is the common man that suffers. In Malawi there is selective application of the law. It is very stupid to connect everything to MCP. Can… Read more »
Dipipi wa Yudiefu
Guest

It is not the increased fees and penalties that will prevent or indeed reduce accidents on the roads of Malawi, it is the provision of corrupt free traffic police on the roads of Malawi, full stop.

Joe
Guest
Whilst I side with the opposition MCP on most social ills currently buffeting nyasaland, I differ with them on this one. This is distasteful opportunism on their part. There is too much reckless driving on Malawi roads these days. Each and every day, you always see outrageous conduct on our roads. It’s sad that as a nation, we seem to have embraced disregard of laws/regulations on many development frontiers. For instance in this case, we seem to be accepting “it’s okay to down a bottle of Jameson and cruise home”. Behind this warped thinking underlies a mentality that leads us… Read more »
Gome
Guest

I don’t know what your are writing, its difficult to comprehend you long writing.

Gogodasi
Guest

To control frequent occurrence of accidents on the road is to confiscate driving licences of the culprits as the Traffic police in the UK do, not charging motorists exorhbitantly. Once you confisticate a licence you can allow the offender may have to wait for a period of at least two years before they can be back on the steering wheel again. Wayne Rooney is serving this kind of punishment. You will see people will be more careful on the road osati zokuba ndalamazo iyayi kenako zikalowe m’matumba mwa anthu a DPP ndiye chani.

QueenB
Guest

How about improving the conditions of the roads before blaming the accidents fully on motorists? Roads are full of potholes and are narrow. These thieves (government and road traffic officials) travel to countries with good road infrastructure and I wonder why they never want Malawi to be like that? Raising penalty fees only won’t stop accidents, it’s a combination of factors. Come and blame it on road users once you’ve fixed the roads!!

Watipa
Guest

DPP led government no vision at all

santana
Guest

Mwina ngozi za pa mseu zimenezi zikuchitika chifukwa cha kuzimazima kwa magetsi. Passenger ndiye victim wamkulu pomwe ma minibus akulowetsa ndalamazo m’matumba mwawo. Akapha munthu pangozi iye angolipira chindapusa pomwe ena aluza munthu wawo. Ndiye mbuzi zina nkumati akufuna ndalama za campaign. Malawians when will you stop dying silently. Minibus owners are business people. They don’t care about your lives. Yet you are blindly backing them.

Abu Banda
Guest

This is simple propaganda. The political plan was to use road traffic and then gvt should come with a reversed decision so that people should think that the government is now listerning.SHAMEFUL

dinky
Guest

ma fines anali too heavy awachotseretu mumangopanga zinthu panokha chifukwa chani zimenezo timati dictatorship

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