Motorists often hear about the elusive and mystical Form 265, which apparently provides the motorist the option of paying a fine within a reasonable period, and even have access to the Magistrate’s Court to have his or her case reviewed in a fair hearing (gasp!). Road Users Association assures motorists that the Form 265 exists, it has just been tucked under the carpet by the Ministry of Home Affairs and the ZRP.
ZRP are using an Admission of Guilt (AoG) form (Z.R.P. N.TFC), which makes brief reference to Form 265 (to the right of the ‘WARNING’ notice, under the AoG document number). However, there are no fields on this form providing the option to appear in court or pay the Deposit Fine within a reasonable period.
The document providing these two options, is referred to as Form CP&E 15. It appears in the Criminal Procedure (Forms) Rules 1970 (enacted by RGN196 of 1970). Internally, ZRP refer to the current document as Admission of Guilt [Z69(j)] receipt.
The Admission of Guilt [Z69(j)] receipt, or ‘traffic fine’, in current use does not comply with Section 141 of the Criminal Procedures & Evidence Act Chapter 9:07 (CP&E Act) or the Criminal Procedure (Forms) Rules 1970 (enacted by RGN196 of 1970). The result is the motorists’ rights to appear in court or opt to pay the Deposit Fine within a reasonable period, is being denied.
Motorists are allowed a reasonable time within which to pay a deposit fine. While the police do have the powers to issue invitations to pay deposit fines, they do not, however, have the general power to insist on the payment of those fines on the spot.
lJustices Cheda and Kamocha in S v Babbage 2012 (2) ZLR 125 (H), made it clear that the police officer cannot and must not insist on a spot fine simply because he does not have the necessary ticket book to carry out his function, etc.
lThe only lawful procedure for imposing a Deposit Fine is provided by Section 141 of the Criminal Procedures & Evidence Act Chapter 9:07 (CP&E Act), as read with section 356. No provision of the Criminal Procedures & Evidence Act authorises the police to demand payment on the spot.
DEAR ZRP REACHES THE 25,000 MILESTONE
Facebook group Dear ZRP continues to grow at pace, with around 200 joins a day. The growth suggests that motorists are finding the page useful in dealing with the increasing level of hostility at ZRP check points. Interestingly, a large number of ZRP personnel have become members of the group; estimated at anything up to 500 members.
Road Users Association would like to see more engagement by members of ZRP, and personnel from the Ministry of Transport and Ministry of Home Affairs. We already suspect that these members are learning a few things about the law that were not covered in Police Training College. Such as the relevance of the Form 265.
RUINED ZRP VEHICLES SHOW NO CONCERN FOR IMAGE
While ZRP regularly defends its image at numerous media briefings, and representatives of the Ministry of Home Affairs emphasise the professionalism of our police force, their vehicles tell a different story on the roads.
Motorists regularly witness ZRP vehicles that have made no effort to comply with the laws of Zimbabwe, the same laws they impose on its citizens with such enthusiasm. Road Users Association would like to see ZRP getting their vehicle fleet compliant, with the same enthusiasm. Starting with retro-reflectors, ZRP Land Rover’s exhausts not discharging to the left, lights and indicators in working condition, registration plates fitted and legible … the list goes on. ZRP Transport Division, make the effort to get your own vehicles compliant; it will do far more for your image and credibility than any number of media briefings.