Directorate of Road Traffic and Safety Services (DRTSS) has said it does not have the capacity to deploy traffic police officers along semi-urban roads.
DRTSS Public Relations Officer, Angelina Makwecha said on Monday in Blantyre taht the department was as of now understaffed thereby could not manage to deploy officers in each and every road in the country.
She explained that for the directorate to mount road blocks and spot checks in semi-urban roads it relies a lot on information it receives from the general public for such locations.
“As a department that oversee safety and traffic of roads in Malawi, we use information provided to us by the general public on violation of traffic laws and regulations to mount check points and offences in such routes,” Makwecha said
She said it was impossible for the department to deploy officers in such locations without proper strategies and objectives.
“At the moment the Directorate of Road Traffic and Safety Services has a critical shortage of staff. Before the department carries out any enforcement operation, it has to come up with proper strategies and objectives in order to achieve desirable outcomes,” the PRO told Mana.
Makwecha trashed allegations that the directorate use road blocks and spot checks as revenue collection measure saying the traffic police officers were there to bring sanity in the roads and not to collect money.
“The aim of enforcement exercises along the roads is not to collect revenue, but to help bring sanity on our roads. If the department is collecting more money in certain road stretches then it means that there are more traffic violations in such stretches,” she explained.
The Angelo Goveya-Manje road is one of the semi-urban road that use vehicles that were not road worthy and unregistered as public transport, despite the road being a tar mark road.
Reacting to the development, one of the drivers from Manje who didn’t want to be mentioned said they would not like the idea of traffic police officers along the Manje road because they find money through this business.
“As much as it is can be a good development, it is worrisome to me as a driver. Am able to provide household resources through this business. I have no other means of finding money to provide for my family,” he said
He said that if government and transporters would provide them with vehicles that we roadworthy, then the development would be welcomed.