The Directorate of Road Traffic and Safety Services (DRTSS) in Malawi has said the phasing out of spot fines for traffic offences will be gradual as the directorate moves to electronic prosecution of offenders.
In an e-mailed response to a questionnaire, DRTSS spokesperson Angellina Makwecha confirmed that plans were underway for motorists to start paying their fines through commercial banks.
She said the new process is scheduled to start early next year but “the public will be notified accordingly” once the old system is finally abandoned.
Said Makwecha: “This is a gradual process and currently we are implementing this in parallel. All our operational offices are using both spot fines and issuing electronic tickets.”
She said the new system was in line with change of government policy requesting all ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) to deposit their collection of receipts direct into commercial banks by customers.
In view of this, Makwecha said, in future, traffic law enforcement officers would not be allowed to receive fines, but only issue tickets where the customer is expected to deposit the cash at the bank.
Currently, payments for services rendered at DRTSS are being made through NBS Bank, but Makwecha said in the future the system will be extended to other commercial banks.
When one is issued with a ticket he or she would be expected to pay at any NBS Bank within 21 days and failure to do so within the specified period would result in the system blocking all transactions connected to the owner of the vehicle or licence pending payment.
According to Makwecha, this is the second phase of the upgrading Malawi Traffic Information System (Maltis) which comprises Electronic Traffic Law Enforcement component.
The DRTSS rolled out the Maltis, which was adopted in 2000, early last year to capture, process and store traffic information and is used for the issuance and renewal of drivers’ licence, motor vehicle licences and permits, road permits and weighbridge data. n