ZIMBABWE – Government has banned, with immediate effect, the driving of all motor vehicles whose conditions endanger other road users, while public service vehicles and heavy trucks are now required to be fitted with speed cap devices.
According to the new traffic regulations, public service vehicles and heavy vehicles with a net mass of 4 600kg or more should be fitted with speed monitoring or speed limiting devices.
Some of these devices include a tachograph, tacho-log, vehicle data recorder, fleet manager, co-driver and any other speed monitoring or limiting devices, which the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister, Dr Joram Gumbo, after consultation with the Standards Association of Zimbabwe, may publish in the Government Gazette.
Records from the devices fitted to these vehicles should be kept in a safe place by the owner for a period of not less than six months.
Motorists should not carry more than five passengers and children under the age of 10 should not sit on the front passenger seat unless it is a single cab or pick-up truck.
According to the regulations, in determining the number of passengers that maybe carried in a vehicle, any child under five years of age shall not be counted and two children aged five or more, but less than 10 years old, shall be counted as one passenger.
Those who flout the regulations, if convicted, are liable to a fine or imprisonment.
The regulations were made in terms of Section 81 of the Road Traffic Act (Chapter 13:11) and they came into operation on Monday.
According to Section 67 of the new Road Traffic (Construction, Equipment and Use) Regulations, 2015 outlined in Statutory Instrument 129 of 2015,(Vehicles in dangerous condition), “No person shall drive on any road a motor vehicle or trailer, which is in such condition as to endanger any person on the vehicle or on the road.”
Government said every omnibus of a net mass of 4 600kg or more should be fitted with a safety device to the front axle, approved by the ministry to prevent the omnibus from veering sharply to one side in case of a front wheel tyre-burst.
According to the regulations, no person shall drive a vehicle on any road unless all glass or other transparent material fitted to the vehicle is maintained in such a condition that does not interfere with the driver’s vision and where such material is tinted, it shall ensure a safety degree of visibility.
The use or fitting of retreaded tyres on passenger vehicles and heavy trucks has also been outlawed.
“In the case of a passenger public service vehicle fitted with single tyres, on the front and rear axles, all such tyres shall not be retreaded tyres.”
Every vehicle, motor cycle and trailer is required to have a rear registration light (white light), capable of illuminating the rear registration number plate.
“No person shall leave a stationary motor vehicle, unattended, with the engine of such vehicle running,” reads part of the regulations.
It is also an offence for any pedal cyclists to ride a bicycle without a lamp showing a white light in front and another one or more lamps emitting a red light directly to the rear. It should also be equipped with two efficient brakes — one of the rear wheel and the other one of the front.
No person shall also drive a motor cycle, whether with or without a side-car, without more than two lamps, tail lamps and stop lights.