The Directorate of Road Traffic and Safety Services (DRTSS), in continuing with implementation of its reforms, has started enforcing electronic system (e-traffic law enforcement) of traffic offenders.
The system started on December 21 and is part of the upgrade of the Malawi Traffic Information System (Maltis) which is currently in phase two.
The e-traffic law enforcement module comprises a mobile road side ticketing system designed to allow for electronic prosecution of traffic offences.
DRTSS director Jacques Manon’ga said in an interview on Thursday that the migration meant the directorate will now be using computerised speed cameras to capture speed violations and issue notification of the offences as provided in Section 172 of the Road Traffic Act.
He said: “We have got two sets of equipment, one is a speed trap device and the other is for checking validation of motor vehicle documents such as driver’s licence, certificate of fitness [CoF] and other road service permits.”
The automated speed cameras can capture speed violations up to a distance of a kilometre, he said.
Manong’a said upon contravention of the traffic laws, if the vehicle is available in the Maltis system, an automated notification of payment will be issued and should be honoured within 14 days through DRTSS account at any NBS Bank.
However, for those whose vehicles are yet to migrate to Maltis, Manong’a said the spot fines will still be observed at the point where the offence is committed.
DRTSS has trained 13 officers who will be working with Malawi Police Service traffic officers.
While most motorists feigned ignorance of the new automated system, a Blantyre based banker, Florence Nyangulu, applauded DRTSS for the initiative, saying the system will bring sanity on the roads.
There are about 250 000 vehicles on the roads of Malawi and the directorate is currently in the process of identifying private garages and motor vehicle dealers to help inspect vehicles for issuance of COF. n