Crimes that affect road users, as well as the quality of our roads. Traffic Enforcement, Road Safety and Corruption,
As long as there is no respect for the rule of the laws of the road, the road will be an unsafe place. All road users need to be aware of the dangers of corruption – and not to endorse corruption through their conduct. Corruption not only is to be found in the actions of the official who asks for or receives the bribe or benefit – but also on the part of him who offers the bribe.
Effective traffic enforcement is the most important requirement for road safety. We can have the best Rules of the Road, but if these are not enforced effectively, we will continue to have an increase in fatal accidents on our roads. Traffic enforcement is threatened by the crime of corruption, and it is important to understand the nature of such corruption and the strategies to fight this evil.
What is corruption?
Corruption or bribery is described in legal terms as the practice of tendering [and accepting] a private advantage for the performance of a duty. This has also been described as the abuse of entrusted power for private benefit and entails an official doing, or not doing, something for some sort of gain. Where the levels of corruption are high it is indicative of low levels of respect for the law.
The impact of corruption increases the risk of unsafe conditions on both our roads and transport systems. On a grand scale, money intended for the maintenance of roads or service provision and the upgrading or provision of facilities is diverted for private gain. On an immediate level, unqualified drivers and unroadworthy vehicles are granted licenses.
Corruption and Traffic Enforcement
The effect of corruption is not only a loss of state revenue. When corrupt officials allow motorists who speed or drive vehicles that are not roadworthy, to proceed with their journey, the consequences for other road users are potentially disastrous. A breakdown in public trust in the integrity of traffic officials is also likely to result in an increase in lawlessness among road users.
Corruption manifests itself in the following activities:
Fraud and licensing
By accepting a bribe and offering a non-competent driver a driving licence we present a threat to anyone sharing the road with that driver.
Fraud and roadworthiness
Drivers and commuters are at risk with every non-roadworthy vehicle certified to go on the roads. This includes not only testing the vehicle mechanisms but also testing for overloading.
Fraud, bribery and traffic fines
The most common type of corruption encountered by motorists daily is when a traffic official is bribed to either reduce or nullify the fine for a traffic offence committed. By allowing this to continue our roads become a free-for-all where road users recklessly and willingly disobey the rules of the road with the assumption that they can get away with any penalty for their misbehaviour!
Government and Road Safety Authorities have to cooperate and give assistance to the community to fight the common enemy of corruption and anyone else who wishes to help stamp out corruption. In the long term, the public needs to believe that their actions will result in speedy investigations and when appropriate, prosecution and conviction. One way of doing this is to inform citizens of convictions achieved as a result of information provided by whistleblowers
We have to admit that we face serious challenges to safety daily at our homes, places of work and on the roads. It is not only the irresponsible road user giving a lift to the shady hitchhiker who is at risk but every responsible driver, passenger, biker or cyclist!”
Besides crimes such as cable theft, which can result in reduced visibility and traffic lights out of order, and animals gaining access to roads through theft of fence posts, corruption also places road users in great danger. One of our major concerns for government and transport officials is the need to reduce fraud and corruption in the traffic environment. We too often find that offenders cannot be effectively dealt with as the cases are mysteriously bungled.
Always speak up for your safety
– The faster the vehicle is going, the harder it is to stop.
– Remember that speeding can be dangerous and cost money.
– Watch for speed limit signs and let the driver know when the number changes
– Help the driver look for dangers in the road.
– Ask questions about driving and how it’s done. This lets the driver know they are setting the example.
– Know the law – Reckless driving is against the law and is defined as driving in a way that shows you don’t care about the safety of people or property.
Do not assume safety / Adjust road behaviour
Never assume that the roads will be safe and be ready to adjust your driving behaviour. This will include:
· Approaching and crossing intersections with caution.
· Staying alert at night to the possible presence of animals on the roads.
· Avoiding distractions and keeping all the focus on the traffic and road conditions.
· Keeping an eye and ear on the media to stay informed of possible road closures. Rather take the recommended detour.
Reaching the destination safely is the best reward for any motorist! Should you encounter any motoring issues, remember that Drive Zimbabwe Roadside Assistance provides 24/7 Roadside Assistance Service for our Members and the motoring community. Whilst it’s possible to reduce your risk of breakdown, it’s an unfortunate reality that even the most expertly maintained and superbly driven vehicle may break down due to unforeseen circumstances. In these instances, Drive Zimbabwe Roadside Assistance breakdown cover can make all the difference. Call us or Whatsapp at 0780 579 261/0718 084 297 / 0736 523 424 Email:email@example.com and Join Today.