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Monday, 31 October 2011

What is the best way to reduce traffic police corruption?

The Zambia Police Service in collaboration with the Road Transport and Safety Agency are planning to set up a new system for payment of fines for traffic offences in effort to curb corruption.

According to Inspector-General of Police Martin Malama the aim is to “discourage the practice of paying money to police officers when a traffic offence has been committed”. How this will work in practice is not clear, but one idea he is considering is for erring motorists to be issued with tickets that can be paid at a bank.

Traffic police are widely regarded as the most corrupt element in the police force and tackling the scourge there would send a strong message that the police is being reformed.

Do you think this idea by Inspector General Malama will help curb the scourge? If, what approaches do you think Government should consider in reducing traffic police related corruption?

A sample of responses from "properly identified persons" will be published under the Readers Weekly column.

Those on Facebook can leave their comments here.


  1. It starts with drivers knowing their rights. Road traffic fines are actually in lieu of a court case. They are “Admission of Guilt” fines. In other words if you pay you have admitted that you are wrong.
    To prevent being wrongly fined, read and know the traffic law and then don’t pay unless you know that you are wrong. If there is a disagreement between the driver and police as to the legality of the charge the case can go to court. Traffic police actually don’t want to go to court especially if the case is dubious. They just want you to pay. If the case is dubious and you refuse to pay and say ‘take me to court’ it usually ends there.
    Also the police must give you time to pay which gives you time to go and look up the law. They will threaten to impound the vehicle or seize driving licences or insurance documents to ensure your return but they have no right to do so.
    Once I insisted on being shown the relevant law and when it proved me right, the police insisted there was a statutory instrument superseding it, but could not produce it, so I refused to pay.
    A vehicle can only be impounded if it is dangerous to drive (no brakes for instance)
    Otherwise once you have provided your name, ID number address and vehicle details you can go away with the vehicle and come back later to pay or refuse to pay.
    Many cases which are just bribe seeking harassment can be ended by taking out a paper and pen and asking politely for the officers’ name and number. If there is no genuine case it will then be hurriedly dropped without the name and number being given.
    In a small town, if you never pay bribes, the traffic officers fairly soon leave you alone.

  2. well we are on the road to development instead of taking shade remedies let's do what developed countries are doing "tollgates, Ticketing and alcohol tests..payments should be done like other developed countries are doing it not on the road but they should issue tickets..


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