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Police threaten to bring back tyre deflating spikes

October 9, 2017 12:30 AM
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Police threaten to bring back tyre deflating spikes

Unruly motorists, police said, were taking advantage of the lack of devises to stop them at roadblocks.

Last month, police officers were stopped from indiscriminate use of metal spikes on vehicles as new measures were being introduced to deal with errant drivers on the country’s roads.

In a statement, national police spokesperson Chief Superintendent Paul Nyathi said a number of motorists were now violating traffic rules and regulations.

“The police has also noted that there is a small clique of unruly motorists who are not stopping at law enforcement checkpoints,” he said. “They pass through red robots, cut corners at road junctions and intersections and in the process cause chaos in Central Business District by flouting road rules and regulations.

“This conduct must stop forthwith. Errant motorists should not cry foul if they are arrested. Police will make use of spikes to stop these dangerous motorists if this bad conduct continues.”

The use of spikes attracted immense criticism from motorists who felt there were better avenues for modern policing systems on the country’s roads.

Home Affairs Minister Dr Ignatius Chombo recently said police would only use spikes in exceptional situations.

“Police no longer use spikes to stop vehicles,” he said. “Spikes are only used when there are reasonable grounds to stop a suspect who would have evaded a police roadblock or an order by a law officer to stop.

“This means that not every officer you come across on the roads will have spikes. What police are doing now is that when a motorist refuses to stop when ordered to do so, the officers will alert the next roadblock and this is where spikes can be used because the driver would have refused to stop and there is reasonable grounds to believe that they may have committed a crime.

“When a driver complies with an order to stop, then there is no need to use spikes. Spikes will only be used to deal with trouble-makers who refuse to comply with orders to stop. This is the standard procedure worldwide.

“In the past we used to have our police armed with guns during patrols, but now things have changed. Guns are only used when there is reasonable grounds that the suspect could be a dangerous criminal. We urge motorists to stop when they are ordered to do so by law officers and this should be within reasonable distance.”

Police have impounded 269 unregistered vehicles under an operation code-named “No to unregistered vehicles”.

Chief Supt Nyathi said the cars were impounded since Sunday last week for being on the roads when the owners had not effected change of ownership as required by the Vehicle Registration and Licensing Act (Chapter 13:14).

“The Zimbabwe Republic Police as a law enforcement agency has noted the increased flagrant disregard of traffic laws by motorists and the commission of criminal acts such as thefts, robberies and sexual assaults amongst other acts by elements using these unregistered vehicles or those without registration number plates,” he said.

He said 67 vehicles were impounded for operating as public service vehicles, yet they were not registered in terms of the Road Motor Transportation Act (Chapter 13:10).

“The operation will continue for an indefinite period,” he said. “Non-compliant vehicles will be impounded until the necessary registration procedures are completed. Motorists are, therefore, being warned that all vehicles moving on the country’s roads with no registration plates should be registered without delay.”

Police launched the blitz after being concerned that some unregistered cars were also being involved in hit and run accidents and criminal activities.

National Traffic Section spokesperson Inspector Tigere Chigome said owners of unregistered vehicles should abide by all traffic regulations and not assume that the 14-day period to register the vehicle is a licence to drive around.


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