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Saturday, May 16, 2009

Traffic Police in Zimbabwe

This is Part One on Traffic Police - excerpt from Mags Kriel's Bulawayo Morning Mirror

This email is to inform you about the Marked and Unmarked Road Blocks, it will also give you an idea as to what fine you will receive, as soon as Trade Fair is over I will be getting the Charge Book, and that will be Part Two on Traffic Police, in which I will itemise every single Traffic Offence and its Fine / Court / Arrest.

TRAFFIC POLICE AT UNMARKED ROAD BLOCKS - Print this and keep it in your car, I have had all of the following verified and confirmed by the Traffic Sections boss Chief Inspector Chihure,64661 if you have any problems do not hesitate to contact or The Traffic Section Co-ordinator Superintendent Mabuzi 64236, both gentlemen will be more than happy to help and assist you with your queries.

There has been so much stress and agony with these Traffic Police at unmarked road blocks, so here are a few pointers to assist you with any negativity or antagonism that you may come across. I personally have found woman cops to woman drivers are exceptionally rude and obnoxious, but just stand your ground, don't be rude and whatever you do not swear!

Before I start to give you tips on what to do and what not to do, Id like to differentiate between Marked and Unmarked Road Blocks.

Marked is when you are driving along the road and you see a sign on the left side of the road that reads POLICE AHEAD, this is usually 200m before the road block and is placed on either side of the road block, so thats for vehicles coming towards the road block from opposite ends this sign is displayed on on either end. These road blocks are properly put together, black and white drums, plastic dollies on the road, and often there will be a blue light displayed flashing if it is night time, these road blocks, are usually manned by a mixture of Police Units, Metal and Minerals, Narcotics, Vehicle Theft Section, Homicide, Military Police and Traffic Section, you will be asked to produce your drivers license depending what they are looking for, you may also be asked to open your boot so that they can check. If it is night time and you are a lady driving alone, you do not have to get out of your vehicle if the roadblock is manned by all Male Police Officers, if there is a Lady Officer present you may request that she be present so that you can get out and open the boot or bonnet for them to check. If it is VTS (Vehicle Theft Section) you may be asked to open the bonnets so that they can check engine numbers and chassis numbers, they will be looking for Stolen Vehicles, Homicide is looking for armed robbers and unlicensed firearms, Military Police are there to check any Military vehicles, I can honestly say that I have not had one bad report about these road blocks, they are carried out properly and the Police Officers manning these road blocks are friendly and polite. These road blocks are protected by members from the Support Unit, therefore if someone tries to "run" or "jump" this roadblock the Support unit are positioned at long stops and are armed with automatic weapons and you will be fired upon and arrested.

These are solely Traffic Police, randomly positioned near BAC towards Coghlan School, by Macdonald Club, near Townsend School, between the Race Course and the Old Miltonians playing field, in town by Bulawayo Centre, they choose either the side on Main Street or by the back entrance to Bulawayo Centre, usually three Officers all in uniform

So this is what to do and what not to do when you are stopped by Traffic Police at unmarked road blocks.

Always be polite, and follow instruction or request of the Traffic Officer.

Ensure that you have your drivers license with you, failing to produce it you will be given a Form 265 which is a ticket, it is not a fine it merely indicates that you have 7 working days to produce your divers license to the Drill Hall reception where the ticket will then be stamped and you are free to go. As they do not have the Form 265 you will be issued a Z69J which is the Admission of Guilt Form, the Admission of Guilt will be cancelled by the Traffic Officer and he will write over it stating you have 7 working days to produce your Drivers License at Drill Hall - but there is no Fine for not having the drivers license on your person

At present our Traffic Department in Bulawayo does not have the Form 265 which is the ticket book, therefore you have to pay a spot fine, when paying a spot fine you will then be asked to sign a Z69J which is an Admission of Guilt for the traffic offence, if you are told you have to go to court you will be issued with a document instruction you which court to appear in and what the offence is. Arrests are not common, unless you commit an offence as stated below.

There are three Levels of Traffic Offence Fines, they are as follows:-

Level 1 Fine is US$5-00 - this is for petty things i.e not wearing a safety belt, and in most cases you should be informed and educated by the Officer on Duty as to why you need to wear your safety belt. If you are not wearing it due to medical reasons or an injury ask your Doctor to give you a letter stating the reason, and keep it in the car.

Level 2 Fine is US$10-00 - slightly more serious like being over the white line, over loading

Level 3 Fine is US$20-00 - vehicle safety features i.e. bald tyres, faulty windscreen wipers, no reflectors

Court : dangerous traffic offenses like going through a red light. Sorry Ladies this is you as well after dark, its been confirmed that you have to stop at a red traffic light at night, only time you can go through is if there is an immediate threat like an attempted hijacking. Not having a drivers license, eg have next done the driving test passed and been issued with a license so no license is straight to court, defrauding the Government by not having your vehicle licensed

Arrests : you will be arrested for hit and run, driving while drunk, misconduct and improper behaviour

Red or White reflectors can be purchased in a pack of four two red and two white for R20 from Woodlands service station and
Mr Wright will kindly fit them to your vehicle while you wait.

I think if you use the above as a checklist and ensure that you have all the above in order you should not have any problems, if the Traffic Officers are awkward or rude towards you please make a note of the time and the exact location of this unmarked road block, also insist on seeing his/her Police ID and write down their names and force numbers, you can then use the above numbers to report your query to the above gentlemen. If the Traffic Officers are threatening to arrest you or are requesting you leave your vehicle and board one of their vehicles so that you can be taken to court, call Chief Inspector Chihure on his cell phone immediately.

Please do not abuse the use of the above telephone numbers, they are to be used by you for your personal incident or experience not to phone and moan and complain about what has happened to someone else. They have come under a lot of fire recently and so constructive criticism or genuine complaints will be appreciated by both gentlemen.

If you are in the wrong, accept it as being your fault, we finding ourselves in this mess because so many people have got away with Traffic Offenses by buying their way out of the problem, if we are going to stop the corruption then we have to start by following the Law of the Roads

I hope that this will assist and clarify all your traffic queries, keep safe

1 comment:

  1. Thanks man; this was enlightening!