Traffic Department justifies new road penalties

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The Department of Road Traffic and Safety Services (DRTSS) said the 200 percent increase on prescribed offenses, penalties and miscellaneous fees is meant to force motorists comply with rules and regulations on the roads of Malawi.


Acting Director for DRTSS, Fergus Gondwe told journalists on Wednesday that most accidents are caused by over speeding, drink and driving, reckless driving, careless overtaking, ignoring traffic signs, fatigue and overloading.

He said last year, 1,112 people were killed from 962 fatal accidents while from January to September 2017, and 1791 people have been killed in 694 fatal accidents.

Gondwe said road accidents cost the country an estimated 1 percent to 3 percent of the Gross Domestic Product.

“This is between $47.1 million and $193.5 million annually”.

Gondwe said these figures have been necessitated due to high costs of services and materials which are quoted in US dollars.

Gondwe pointed out they are sensitising officers on corruption prevention as well as engaging the public on corruption.

Meanwhile, Parliament said DRTSS has “overstepped its mandate” by rushing to announce the new fees and penalties, set to be effected Novemebr 13 2017, without the approval of the National Assembly.

According to Maxwell Thyolera, chairperson of Parliamentary Committee of Legal Affairs, they have summoned DRTSS bosses to appear before it in Lilongwe next Monday.

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