THE THIRD PLATE:
This is the most frequently queried subject in recent months. The legislation is covered by the Vehicle Registration & Licensing Act (Act) and the Vehicle Registration & Licensing Regulations – SI 427/1999 (Regs). This area is administered by the Central Vehicle Registry (CVR), and can be contacted on (04) 759743/5.
Every vehicle fitted with a windscreen must display the Third Plate behind the windscreen. (For ease of viewing and roadside safety, we suggest the left hand side of the windscreen). Trailers and motorcycles must display the Third Plate “in conspicuous position in a waterproof holder”. (Regs) Section 11 (4).
On the issue of “tampering”: (Act) Section 10 (2) states “An owner of a vehicle who fails to display or maintain his vehicle’s registration mark and number… (is) liable to a fine not exceeding level three” (currently set at $20.00). In Big Sky’s view, what cannot be argued is the Third Plate located anywhere other than the windscreen, a Third Plate cut from a previous windscreen and stuck to the new windscreen, and any circumstance other than its original state. However a motorist can legitimately argue where the Third Plate is displayed on the windscreen, is the original Third Plate and has never been moved. Slight lifting of the edges due to general wear and tear, and exposure to the elements, to our understanding does not amount to “tampering”.
“Where a third plate is lost or damaged, the Registrar may issue a duplicate upon payment of an appropriate fee”. (Regs) Section 10 (7). “Where the registration plate is lost or damaged, the Registrar shall allocate a new registration mark and number for the vehicle…” (Regs) Section 10 (8). Therefore, a Third Plate can be replaced without the need for a new registration number and book, however this is required if the Registration Plate is lost or damaged.
Replacement of the Third Plate costs $35.00 at CVR in Harare, and at post offices in the main centres. We contacted a few Zimpost offices and were quoted $35.00 by Chinhoyi, Bulawayo, Rusape and Mutare, plus approximately $3.00 for stationery and postage. The processing period is up to 2 weeks. Documents required: a CVR4 form, the vehicle registration book and personal ID. A company letterhead requesting the replacement is required for company owned vehicles.
OPTIONS AVAILABLE TO MOTORISTS WHO FEEL THEY HAVE BEEN TREATED UNFAIRLY:
A motorist can decline to admit guilt by referring to the warning at the top of the Admission of Guilt form (Z.R.P. N.TFC) that provides the option of appearing in magistrate’s court. However, a good starting point is speaking to the officer-in-charge of the roadblock, who being more senior might treat the issue with discretion and experience. If not, the motorist can request to speak to the officer-in-charge of the police station from which the roadblock originated. At all times calm and courteous behavior will contribute significantly to a fair outcome.
If the motorist pays the deposit fine but wishes to take the matter further, when the ZRP member completes the Admission of Guilt form, the motorist should politely request that the Charge (Section and Statutory enactment) field, be completed legibly and with the relevant information. Motorists with traffic related queries can call the Complaints Desk at Police General H.Q on (04) 754 333, who we have found to be helpful and informative.
ROADSIDE CHECKS: NOTES FOR THE CUBBY HOLE
Our current Cubby-hole notes (version 9, Oct-14) cover the most frequently encountered issues at checkpoints, and the relevant deposit fines. This is attached as an easily printed .pdf document, however anybody having difficulty with the document can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org Updates will be posted on www.bigsky.co.zw Facebook.com/BigSkySupplies and on Twitter @BigSkySupplies
Acknowledgement: Mr Howard Dean of BIZ Bulletin (Anyone interested in subscribing to BIZ for $90.00/6-months, can contact Howard on email@example.com)
Your readers should find these notes useful; however any comments, corrections or queries are welcome.