Thursday, 1 December 2016

BRACE FOR MORE ROAD BLOCKS : CHOMBO

Home Affairs minister Ignatius Chombo has ordered the police to mount more roadblocks across the country’s highways during the festive season for the “safety of travellers”.

This is despite an outcry from motorists and players in the tourism sector who have openly condemned the ubiquitous presence of police on the country’s highways.

Police, on their part, have defended the multiple roadblocks, in which some now assist the ZBC Holdings (ZBC) and the Vehicle Inspection Department (VID) in conducting their duties.

Despite rampant corruption in traffic policing, Chombo feels the roadblocks on the country’s roads are not enough.

“We will increase the roadblocks during the festive season to ensure that we weed out all vehicles which are not roadworthy, all unlicensed drivers and overloaded vehicles,” Chombo said.

The minister’s remarks come as motorists continue to argue that roadblocks have become cash cows for the police.

Chombo pointed at some relief for motorists after announcing the impending introduction of an electronic traffic system to monitor police officers at roadblocks in real-time.

“The (new) system has the capacity to monitor activities of deployed traffic personnel throughout the country in real-time, detect unlicensed drivers, unroadworthy vehicles, blacklisted vehicles and drivers as well as fraudulently obtained licences, among several other traffic-related issues,” Chombo said.

He also appealed to motorists to “exercise extreme caution and care on the roads” during the festive season.

“Loss of lives has become a common occurrence during such periods. “I would like to urge all vehicle owners particularly public transport operators to ensure that their vehicles are roadworthy and not to overload their vehicles and that they should value the lives of the people they carry to avert road carnage,” he said.

“May I also urge motorists and the general public not to take unnecessary risks by attempting to cross flooded rivers as this may lead to unnecessary loss of lives.” daily news

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