Traffic cops coin millions over holiday

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Windhoek

The Namibian police issued 7 669 traffic fines totalling N$8.2 million over the past holiday season that is now drawing to an end.

The summonses recorded countrywide were issued for various traffic offences, including speeding, driving without a driver’s license, unbuckled seatbelts, unlicensed motor vehicles, overloading of vehicles, inconsiderate driving, un-roadworthiness and driving while using a cellphone. According to Nampol’s deputy inspector general for operations, Major-General James Tjivikua, 103 199 vehicles were stopped and 21 542 drivers were tested for alcohol. A further 13 065 roadworthy tests were conducted and there were 229 arrests.

The head of Nampol’s traffic law enforcement division, Deputy Commissioner Ralf Ludwig told New Era that offenders are given 30 days to pay the fine or face the prospect of arrest warrants being issued for them.

If they refuse to pay they are required to appear in court to explain their reasons. Failure to do so will result in a warrant of arrest.

Ludwig said the police force does not necessarily cash in on the fines issued (such as the N$8.2 million mentioned above), because the working of the justice system are such that some people get to pay only half the fine.

He said despite the summonses issued some drivers continue to have a negative ‘attitude’ on the roads. “The way people drive is just problematic, especially those young ones who are just picking up experience,” said Ludwig.

A long-term solution, he said, would be to introduce a demerit point system, whereby points are deducted from those who disobey traffic laws. “That will assist us to change drivers’ attitudes,” Ludwig opined.

Tjivikua in turn said most of the highways will be very busy during the remaining 14 days of the holiday season. “Therefore, drivers are urged to be extra cautious, to keep the speed limit and to be considerate, taking into account the current (rainy) weather conditions.”

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