Police launch Operation Tame the Traffic Jungle Phase 2
Nevanji Munyaradzi Chiondegwa
The Zimbabwe Republic Police have launched Operation Tame the Traffic Jungle following lawlessness on the roads, especially in major cities which has reached alarming and unacceptable levels.
The operation shall run from 12 to 26 September and shall involve all police departments and external organisations including, Trafficng Safety Council of Zimbabwe [TSCZ], Vehicle Examination Department [VED], City/Town Councils, Insurance Company of Zimbabwe [ICZ], Zimbabwe National Road Administration [ZINARA], Central Vehicle Registration [CVR], Zimbabwe Revenue Authority [ZIMRA] and the Judiciary.
In a communication to all police departments in Harare by Assistant Commission J. Nyabasa, the police said, “Lawlessness on the roads, especially in major cities has reached an alarming and unacceptable level. Some drivers cause chaos on the roads by driving against one way, oncoming traffic, through red robots and lane violations.”
It further said that pirate taxis commonly known as Mushika-shika and Kombis have almost taken over the passenger service industry and are plying the roads with impunity. They recklessly drive through red robot-controlled intersections. Public Service vehicles are loading and offloading passengers at undesignated points which has resulted in City/Town roads being impassable. Heavy vehicles are also crisscrossing within towns and cities disregarding the use of the outlying designated routes thereby causing congestion.
It further said, “Plateless motor vehicles are still plying the country roads with impunity. It is difficult for law enforcement agencies to identify owners of unregistered vehicles after committing such crimes as they are not on the Central Vehicle Registration [CVR] and CID [VTS] databases.”
The statement also revealed that some government vehicles and Porsche cars have joined the bandwagon of not fitting registration plates and reckless driving practices. It noted that a lot of Public Service Vehicles are unroadworthy and do not have legal documents such as passenger insurance, route authority, and certificate of fitness.
Breakdown vehicles are putting tree branches and stones as warning signs instead of reflective triangles. Motorists are dangerously parking along the city roads avoiding parking bays so as not to pay for regulated parking fees which results in them causing congestion in the city centre.
The police further said tha, “Farming equipment like tractors and combined harvesters are being driven on high ways disregarding relevant regulating statutes. Illegal fittings on motor vehicles like bar lights which cannot be dipped in violation of S.1 129 of the Road Traffic Act Chapter 13:11. Pedestrians are using undesignated crossing points in urban setups resulting in congestion in some points and fatal accidents in extreme cases.”
They added that this has resulted in chaos on the roads and innocent motorists are having a nightmare while driving in the urban setups. The public at large has a general perception that ZRP has abandoned its mandate to enforce traffic regulations.
The police said the mission is to bring sanity to the Country’s city and rural roads by ensuring that vehicles owners comply with requirements on the Road Traffic Act Chapter 13:11, vehicle Registration and Licensing Act, Chapter 13:14 and Road motor Transportation Act, Chapter 13:10.
The purpose shall be to tame the traffic jungle and bring sanity by identifying, arresting and impounding illegal pirate taxes ‘Mushikashika’ vehicles, all plate-less, unregistered, unlicensed, and uninsured as well as traffic law offenders to ensure that they comply with the Road Traffic Act Chapter 13:11, Vehicle Registration and Licensing Act, Chapter 13:14, the Road Motor Transportation Act, Chapter 13:10 and any other Road traffic law and regulations.