Identification of ZRP personnel and vehicles
Unprofessional behaviour is enabled when a ZRP member is able to act with the protection that comes from being anonymous. The vast majority of ZRP personnel are not displaying name badges (with force number) or identification card. The badges and cards have either never been issued, or the regulations requiring them to be worn or carried, are being disregarded.
The cost of the name badges and ID cards is minimal in relation to the funds ZRP are currently generating, and relative to the negative impact on our economy. The Road Users Association recommends that the Office of the President and Cabinet should work with ZRP HQ to ensure that:
1) Every ZRP member is issued with both a name badge and identification card, and that said members are mandated to wear and display them.
2) Every vehicle, especially the motorcycles operating under the National Highway Patrol, are to display a registration plate.
Log your traffic fines to create accountability
As shared on Harare News’ Facebook page on 27 September, The Road Users Association has created a Google Form where motorists can log traffic fine data to create a database that will form a record of any extortion taking place on our roads. Among other useful information, it will indicate the amount of money being collected by ZRP; any irregularities or inconsistencies in the application of the law; the names and ranks of ZRP officers who are repeatedly acting out of order; which suburbs and towns are being over-policed; and which speed guns are being abused (by repeatedly recording the same speed).
The RUA assures users that use of this online mechanism is both legal and secure. We advise motorists to ensure that police complete the Admission of Guilt forms in full, and legibly, and that motorists keep their copy safe. You can access the link to the to the Google Doc here. It is available on Harare News’ Facebook page, and on Facebook group Dear ZRP.
Revisiting the service validity period on fire extinguishers
The Road Users Association recommends motorists request their suppliers to provide a 12-month service validity period on any 1 kg or 1.5 kg fire extinguisher supplied or serviced.
We have been unable to find any legislation specifying either the need for a service label or the validity period, for fire extinguishers used in vehicles. Motorists are therefore within your rights to request a longer Service Validity Period and save yourself money and time in the process. The logic supporting a 12-month service validity is that perfectly ‘serviceable’ units, i.e. in pressure (green) don’t have to be serviced unnecessarily, saving the motorist both time and money.
In the event that your fire extinguisher drops below pressure during the 12-month period, you will need to have it refilled. Note that quality brands can last over 3 years without losing pressure. So why service every 6 months? ZRP can have very little to say about the extended validity period, which is not contained in any law. The 6-month validity was created by the fire industry and ZRP, and we should change this situation in favour of the consumer.
How can we help those most vulnerable to ZRP harassment?
Based on the reports posted on Dear ZRP and other pages, the most vulnerable groups are youngsters, women driving on their own, and senior citizens. Most of us are fortunate to have access to a ready stream of information on Facebook, emails, etc. but there are many senior citizens who don’t have the same privilege.
The Road Users Association encourages readers of this column to help your nearest and dearest prepare for the inevitable road block encounters. Who do you know that isn’t on Facebook or one of the email bulletins? Does your Gogo have the Cubbyhole Notes, Schedule of Deposit Fines and ZRP Contact List? These documents are available from www.bigsky.co.zw/files or the Files tab on Facebook page Dear ZRP. Does everyone in your family and circle of friends know that the maximum roadside fine is $20 per offence, end of story! Let’s help the vulnerable to also be prepared.
Image: There is a deep mistrust between ZRP and the public which RUA aims to address.