The Zimbabwe Republic Police has embarked on an operation targeting unregistered vehicles and motorists who are flouting traffic regulations and endangering the lives of other road users. The crackdown on unregistered vehicles comes in the wake of a spate of armed robberies countrywide as criminals are using such vehicles to evade arrests. Some of them were involved in accidents and drivers sped off.
Although police could not avail statistics of vehicles they had impounded so far, there are several roadblocks that have been mounted in and around the city targeting such vehicles.
Police said they would release the impounded vehicles once the owners have registered them.
The Herald yesterday saw several cars that had been impounded at these roadblocks while detectives were also moving around the city looking for such vehicles.
In October last year, Government warned that it would impound vehicles that had no number plates, while offenders would either be imprisoned or fined.
In a statement, Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Dr Joram Gumbo said there was a disturbing increase in the number of vehicles being driven without number plates.
“It has come to the attention of Government that there is an increased number of motor vehicles plying our public roads without displaying registration number plates,” said Minister Gumbo.
“This behaviour is contrary to Sections 6 and 10 of the Vehicle Registration and Licensing Act (Chapter 13:14), which stipulates the need for vehicles to be registered and to always display their registration marks and numbers. What is disturbing is that a good number of such motor vehicles have been involved in road traffic accidents, after which their drivers vanish, rendering any further accident reporting procedures and investigations difficult.”
Meanwhile, the ZRP is also conducting another operation code named, “Follow Up on Vehicles Captured on Camera,” aimed at arresting motorists who were captured while violating traffic rules and regulations.
National police spokesperson Chief Superintendent Paul Nyathi confirmed this yesterday.
“There is an ongoing operation targeting motorists who are endangering not only other motorists, but pedestrians. Most of them are not stopping at traffic controlled intersections and stop signs and they were captured by cameras,” he said.
He said the operation was continuing until all wanted motorists were arrested. In January, ZRP arrested 37 drivers for negligent driving after the offences were captured by a video surveillance system, as the use of the Electronic Traffic Management System gathers momentum.
Chief Superintendent Nyathi said at the time, police managed to make a follow up based on the video evidence, leading to the arrest of the culprits.
The accused persons were then taken to court where they were convicted and given sentences ranging from 30 days to 18 months imprisonment, or made to pay fines ranging from $100 to $300, or to perform a minimum of 110 hours community service