Motorists risk being jailed should they drive vehicles without spare wheels, reflective triangles and fire extinguishers as Government tightens traffic regulations to reduce carnage on the roads. It’s now also illegal for any motor vehicle to be fitted with more than two spot lights. Those who flout the regulations, if convicted are liable to a fine or imprisonment. The regulations were made by Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Dr Joram Gumbo in terms of Section 81 of the Road Traffic Act (Chapter 13:11) and they came into operation on Monday.
According to the new Road Traffic (Construction, Equipment and Use) Regulations, 2015 outlined in Statutory Instrument 129 of 2015, it is now an offence for any motor vehicle to have more than two spot lights fitted on it while it is mandatory for motorists to carry a spare wheel, reflective triangles, tools kit and a fire extinguisher.
Government said any motor vehicle may be equipped with not more than two spot lights and they shall be fitted at the height lower than that of the head lamps and shall be focused as to avoid dazzling the vision of the driver of an oncoming vehicle on a level road.
“No person shall drive a motor vehicle on any road if the vehicle is fitted with more than two spot lights,” read part of the regulations. “It is also an offence to use the spot lights to interfere with the vision of any person on the road and to use them in such a manner as to cause annoyance to any person, whether on a road or not.
A spot light fitted to a motor vehicle and used solely for the purposes of hunting, searching and night repair work maybe fitted above the lamps and shall be mounted in such a manner that they are easily detachable when not in use, according to the regulations. All vehicles are required to have a spare wheel, fire extinguisher and tools and failure to comply would attract a penalty.
“No person shall drive a motor vehicle, other than a motor cycle on any road unless the vehicle is equipped with a serviceable spare wheel; and an efficient jack; and a wheel-brace or wheel-spanner capable of undoing the vehicle’s wheel-nuts; and in the case of a light motor vehicle, a serviceable fire extinguisher weighing a minimum of zero comma seven five kilogrammes (0.75kg); or a heavy vehicle, a serviceable fire extinguisher weighing a minimum of one comma five kilogrammes (1.5kg),” reads the regulations.
The fire extinguishers should also be of a type and make approved by the Standards Association of Zimbabwe or any other International Standards Authority, which approval shall be visibly marked on the fire extinguisher.
It should also be secured at an easily accessible and visible position within the cab of a vehicle. Public service vehicles shall be equipped with a fire extinguisher or fire extinguishers as provided for in the Public Service Vehicle Regulations.
According to the regulations, this does not apply to motor vehicles bearing foreign registration number plates that are in transit or on a temporary entry permit. “Any person who contravenes some of the sections of the regulations commits an offence and shall be liable, on conviction, to a fine not exceeding level five, or to a period or imprisonment not exceeding six months or both such a fine and imprisonment.