Government has given motorcycle taxi operators two months to register their motorcycles, get licences and sort out other issues that contravene traffic rules.
Motorcycle operators two weeks ago protested the impounding of motorcycles that did not meet traffic regulations. The protesters said government should have given them time to iron out the problems.
In an interview yesterday Malawi Police head of traffic McPherson Matowe said following a meeting the police held with the kabaza operators, the motorists have been given up to October 16 2020 to register and insure their motorcycles, get licences and source helmets.
He said: “We have emphasised on the issue of helmets. It’s non-negotiable. A helmet is key to survival of a person and it is for their protection and the protection of passengers.”
The operators will also have to operate within the designated areas, motorcycles are prohibited from operating in the central business district.
The operators will also have to go to driving schools linked to the motorcycles association which will help them get licences at a lower cost.
Motorcycle and Bicycles Association of Malawi president Michael Mkumba pledged commitment to honour traffic rules, saying the laws are not new and everyone has been aware of them.
He said: “The operators will go into groups so that we start processes for licences, duty clearance, registration but also clearance. We know finances are a challenge but the laws have been there for a long time and we have to abide.”
Mkumba also observed that following the rules will work to the advantage of the motorcycle operators when they get involved in accidents besides helping reduce road accidents and easing pressure on health facilities.
The association has since said it will start awareness campaigns among operators nationwide to ensure compliance.