DEPOSIT FINES

BIG SKY UPDATE: DEPOSIT FINES | PROCESSING ROADSIDE FINES

Motorists will be alarmed at media reports of $700 deposit fines, from 1 January. Recent reports of ZRP insisting on payment of fines in US Dollars, haven’t helped stress levels. The following should clarify these issues for Big Sky customers …

DEPOSIT FINES

The short version:

  • The increased fines proposed by Minister Ncube are still going through legal process and are not in effect, yet.
  • The MAXIMUM fine that can be imposed at the roadside remains Level 3, currently set at $30.
  • A fine higher than Level 3 can only be imposed by a magistrate after a court appearance.
  • The deposit fines currently being imposed by ZRP for traffic offences are $10 for Level 1, $20 for Level 2, with Level 3 attracting a fine of $30.
  • Once the final Scale of Fines has been gazetted, Big Sky anticipates Levels 1 to 3 will double to $20, $30 and $60, respectively.

Motorists are reminded you have the right to refuse a roadside fine and appear in court if you prefer not to admit guilt. However, be aware the Harare Magistrate’s Court is dysfunctional and you can expect to be severely inconvenienced …

The long version:

In his 2019 Budget Speech on 22 November, 2018, Finance & Economic Minister Mthuli Ncube proposed a number of measures affecting motorists. Amongst others, the Minister proposed increasing the maximum traffic fine to $700. To implement this and other proposals, the Finance (No. 3) Bill, 2018, was gazetted on 14 December, 2018.

The Bill proposes a revised Standard Scale of Fines, which goes even further than $700, with Level 12 listed as $8,000. (As an example Level 12 applies to “reckless driving” in respect of commuter omnibus and heavy duty drivers). This represents a quadrupling of the Levels from 4 to 14, whereas Levels 1 to 3 are doubled, up to $60.

However, since the minister was questioned in parliament about the severity of these fine levels, we understand they are under review. Big Sky therefore expects fines on all levels will be doubled (not quadrupled), once the final version of the Bill passes through parliament.

In the meanwhile …

  • Motorists are reminded that the MAXIMUM fine that can be imposed at the roadside is Level 3, currently set at $30. A fine higher than Level 3 can only be imposed by a magistrate after a court appearance.
  • The fines currently being imposed by ZRP for traffic offences are $10 for Level 1, $20 for Level 2, with Level 3 attracting a fine of $30.
  • Therefore, do not accept a roadside fine higher than $30, and exercise your right to appear in court if you prefer not to admit guilt.

PROCESSING OF ROADSIDE FINES

Motorists will recall the electronic devices ZRP introduced in June, 2017, at the height of the roadblock-era. These are named the Traffic Enforcement Gadget (TEG) and have since evolved into an efficient means to process deposit fines and accept payment.

  • The Traffic Enforcement Gadget is loaded with traffic statutory information, and the relevant fines. 
  • When imposing a fine on a motorist, the ZRP member will enter the section of the Statutory Instrument or Act, and the relevant fine will appear on the screen, e.g. “C.s. 29 Fail to display current vehicle licence or temporary licence – $10”.
  • The motorist is given three options to pay at the roadside: cash, mobile payment (e.g. EcoCash) or swipe. 
  • When paying with EcoCash, the motorists cell number is inputted into the TEG, which then prints the fine with payment method details, which acts as a receipt. The motorist must receive an SMS notification to his/her cell phone, with ZRP clearly stated as the beneficiary.
  • The TEG has an inbuilt swipe facility and a fine/receipt is printed as above.
  • When paying in foreign currency such as Rands, or Pounds, the device will calculate the amount based on the exchange rate of the day. 
  • When paying by cash, USD and bonds are calculated at 1 to 1 and the motorist has the option to pay in either.

Big Sky acknowledges the contribution from the publishers of BIZ Bulletin, a useful guide to business-relevant legislation. Subscription enquiries to aquamor@mweb.co.zw 

We hope you will find this update useful.

Kind regards … Sean Quinlan

Managing Director

Big Sky Supplies – We prepare you for your journey

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