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Road traffic ups penalties, fees

The Directorate of Road Traffic and Safety Services (DTRSS) has adjusted miscellaneous fees and prescribed offence penalties with effect from January 1 2020.

A press statement from DTRSS says the hike is in respect of the government notices No 75 and 76 of the Road Traffic Act (Miscellaneous fees) – Amendment Regulations 2019 and Road Traffic Act (Prescribed offences and penalties).

The new fees will see Malawians coughing K20,000 when applying for a driving licence, up from K15,000.

For learners licence, people will now be paying K8,000.

On the other hand, first registration of motor vehicles will now be costing K25,000, having been raised from K15,000.

Traffic Register Card is now costing double at K10,000 with the same amount of money to be paid for change of particulars on register card.

For road traffic offences, road users who fail to produce vehicles for inspection, contrary to section 7 (1) (a) of the Act, will be paying K10,000.

A motorcycle overtaking a motor vehicle in the same lane of traffic with the motorcycle, motor tricycle or overtaking a vehicle at the same time as another motor cycle, will be paying a fine of K10,000.

Road users who leave a vehicle on the same place on a road for over 72 hours will be forking out K30,000.

Drivers who will be driving without a motor vehicle licence will now be paying K15,000, up from K10,000 and a driver failing to yield right of way to pedestrian, contrary to section 116 (4) of the Act, will be parting with K50,000.

DTRSS spokesperson, Angelina Makwecha, has said it is high time the fees were adjusted since operational costs have gone up.

“The last adjustment of the fees was made in 2015 and the department has been compelled to make the adjustments due to high operational costs incurred such as internet and network services and licence fees for softwares, and also, management of other stakeholders such as driving schools,” she said.

But one of the driving school owners in Lilongwe, John Chembe Banda of Israel Driving School has said the adjustments would affect their operations.

“We are also supposed to increase our fees. When we count all the adjustments for the driving licence procedure, the money has been adjusted from K34,000 to K53,000, which is from traffic register card to having a licence,” he said.

In 2017, the government through Ministry of Transport and Public Works gazetted an upward adjustment of the miscellaneous fees but there was a general public outcry that the fees were too high as most of them were adjusted up by 100 percent.

Following the public outcry, the adjustments were put on hold.

Makwecha said so far consultations were made with relevant stakeholders and a reasonable percentage was agreed leading to the new changes.

According to Makwecha, the consultations were done with transporters, the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs and Treasury.

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