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Thursday, May 19, 2016

Road regulations


It has been an eventful few months since our last update of the Big Sky Cubbyhole notes in January.

The principle issues influencing this major update:

  • The interpretation by ZRP of certain regulations in SI 129/2015 (Dec-15), which are causing a great deal of anxiety and financial pain on the majority of motorists in our country.
  • The updated Schedule of Deposit Fines, in use since February, 2016 and made available to Big Sky in April.

We trust the attached Notes for the Cubbyhole - May, 2016 (No. 14) will guide your readers when dealing with roadside checks. In the meanwhile ...

ADVICE TO MOTORISTS:



Be prepared! Carry the following documents in your vehicle at all times, and do your homework so you're ready for any discussions:

  • Statutory Instrument 129 of 2015. Printed copies are available to purchase from Printflow (Harare) for $2/copy. 
  • The Schedule of Deposit Fines (Feb-16)
  • ZRP Contacts List 
  • The current version of the Cubbyhole Notes (get rid of old copies to avoid confusion)
  • (The above documents are available as a download from the Facebook page "Dear ZRP", or email info@bigsky.co.zw requesting any documents).

  • Do not pay bribes. It's what started this nonsense. 
  • Do the paperwork. Make sure you come away with a properly completed fine/receipt (Form ZRP N.TFC). An illegible scrawl isn't good enough - refer to the section in your copy of SI 129/2015 and Schedule of Deposit Fines.
  • If you feel you are being treated unfairly, do phone the numbers listed in ZRP Contacts. Alternatively insist on seeing the Senior Officer or have your issue attended to at the police station. These steps very often persuade the ZRP detail to let you off with a 'warning'.
  • Carry a minimum of $20 of "just in case" cash, in $5's or $10's
  • Ignore circular emails or WhatsApp messages that are undated and unverified, and cause unnecessary confusion and arguments.
  • Invest in a dashboard camera (dashcam), which are legal and invaluable when proving your point. A copy of a letter issued by ZRP Traffic HQ is available as a download from the Facebook page "Dear ZRP"
  • Remain calm and courteous. You lose control of a situation when you become angry ... avoid having your buttons pushed.

CURRENT HOT SPOTS:

  • Simultaneous use of headlamps and fog-lamps - refer to the Cubbyhole Notes
  • Use of space-saver or 'biscuit' wheels - Refer to the Cubbyhole Notes
  • When coming out of a dusty environment, (e.g. off the Mana road), take a few minutes to clean the registration plate, headlights, brake and registration plate lights. (See Sections 24 and 26 of SI 129/2015)
  • Travelling south from Kariba - be aware of the section of road about 20 km south of Karoi, the long hill with a northward bound overtaking lane. The southward bound lane is in very bad condition. Motorists are regularly fined for moving into the middle, clean lane, for driving on the wrong side of the road.

CURRENT MYTHS:

  • It is NOT a legal requirement for private motorists to carry a rubbish bag in their vehicle
  • Reflectors in vehicle doors are a useful safety feature, but are NOT a legal requirement
  • Other than the tyre changing equipment listed in the Cubbyhole Notes, it is NOT a requirement to carry a toolbox
  • Reflective vests are recommended for emergency, night time use but are still NOT legally required

SOME MORE USEFUL INFO

Motorists are encouraged to join the Facebook group "Dear ZRP", which is a valuable source of information for motorists, and a forum to share your experiences, both negative and positive.


The Third Plate on vehicles may now be affixed to the "quarter glass or side window" - see the Cubbyhole Notes (A copy of SI 42/2016 can be downloaded from Dear ZRP). We can thank the Transport Operator's Association for driving this amendment with the Ministry of Transport.



We trust this update will be useful to your readers, and wish you safe and pleasant road travel in Zimbabwe.

The BIG SKY TEAM



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