THE SCALE OF FINES INCREASE IS GAZETTED
The Scale of Fines was one of the amendments to the Finance Act, gazetted on Friday, 24 March 2017. Level 1 is now $10 (was $5), Level 2 is $15 (was $10) and Level 3 is $30 (was $20).
Based on the current levels in the fines schedule, the only change we need to be concerned about is Level 3 increasing to $30. Level 1 and 2 fines have been set at $10 and $15, respectively, since the current Schedule of Deposit Fines was implemented in February, 2016 (but only legalised through Friday’s gazette, 13 months later). Therefore, the only change we anticipate is that an offence currently set at $20, will increase to $30.
The increase is already legal, although still has to be formalised through a revised Schedule of Deposit Fines. This document is not required to be gazetted, but must be formally made available to ZRP before they can impose the new Level 3 fine of $30. Motorists can ignore the gazette’s effective date of 1 January, 2017. It took parliament a while to address the Finance Act amendments, and back-dating of traffic ‘spot’ fines is both impossible and unconstitutional.
To summarise, the revised Scale of Fines came into effect from 24 March, 2017, but the only real change affecting motorists, is $20 traffic fines can change to $30. DO NOT ACCEPT a $30 fine until the revised Schedule of Deposit Fines is issued to ZRP. Until that time, the maximum fine that can be imposed at the roadside remains $20. If any member of ZRP attempts to fine a motorist $30, before the new fines schedule is issued, report him or her, and tell Road Users Association about it, at www.rua.org.zw or Facebook/RoadUsersAssoc
FORM 265 REMAINS ELUSIVE …
Road Users Association recently advised motorists to be realistic about the Form 265. Despite the WhatsApp messages circulating, it is NOT available as an option. ZRP have withdrawn motorists’ rights to a court appearance or payment of a fine at a later date. Although a legal requirement, the Form 265 book is simply not available at roadblocks or police stations.
RUA felt it was necessary to point this out as motorists are travelling without cash with the expectation the Form 265 will enable them to pay at a later date. There are lots of tears when they are denied a Form 265. However, the form is very much a legal requirement. As copied from the Road Users Association page, this in a comment to an aggrieved motorist, who was refused a Form 265:
“Form 265 was unavailable, in contravention of sections 141 and 356 of the Criminal Code, and referred to by Justices Cheda and Kamocha in State v Babbage, 2012.”
MUNICIPAL POLICE ARE KILLING SMALL TOWN TRADE …
Immediately after the gazetting of the Scale of Fines on 24 March, 2017, Road Users Association has received many reports of municipal police clamping or spiking vehicles to extort a ‘fine’ of $30. Rusape appears to be the worst affected, but incidents are also recorded in Marondera, Chinhoyi and Karoi. In most cases, motorists are parking in legitimate areas. In Karoi, motorists are being targeted while queuing for at local garages for fuel! Furthermore, we expect the fine for this ‘offence’ is level one, currently $10, not $30. Surely local businesses understand that motorists will take their money and support to more car-friendly towns? RUA encourages businessmen and women from the affected towns to appeal to their local councilor and member of parliament to intervene. Until then, don’t complain when you see motorists keep on driving through your towns.
SUPPORT FOR ROAD USERS ASSOCIATION GATHERS MOMENTUM
The launch of the Road Users Association website and social media channels, including Facebook and Twitter, have provided a forum for motorists to express their support for RUA’s efforts to achieve positive changes on our roads. The petition requesting that every member of the ZRP upholds the constitutional freedoms and rights of all Zimbabweans, respect the rule of law and fulfill their mandate to serve and protect the citizens of Zimbabwe, is gathering momentum, with over 3,500 signs. RUA encourages motorists to get behind the campaign and visit www.rua.org.zw and Facebook/RoadUsersAssoc