Beware traffic scams

The Easter weekend is likely to see unscrupulous ZRP officers fleecing motorists of their hard-earned cash. If you have problems withtraffic police you are advised to phone Supt Mhlanga on 0772 852 305.

Fire extinguishers – roadblocks have now started checking whether you have had your fire extinguisher ‘serviced’ at 6-monthly intervals. The legislation does not stipulate periodic servicing, but demands a ‘serviceable’ (i.e. a working) extinguisher.

Most extinguishers have a gauge and whilst the needle is in the green part the equipment is considered serviceable. As the product is pressurized, it makes sense to check it periodically as a non-functioning extinguisher will be worse than useless if your vehicle catches fire.

Cellphones-If you are seen driving and talking on your mobile phone at the same time the ZRP are authorised to: pull you over, ask you to drive to the nearest police station and sign an admission of guilt. A docket will be opened against you. You can be fined anything from

$1 500 to $5 000, and also if the Magistrate feels you need to be taught a lesson you can go to JAIL for a minimum of two weeks. There are NO SPOT FINES for this offence. You are allowed to use a Hands Free Kit while driving.

Equipment – The Road Traffic Regulations require all vehicles to be equipped with the following (with effect from 1st July 2011): 2 x reflective triangles, a serviceable fire extinguisher, more than 750gm, approved by the Standards Association of Zimbabwe, a serviceable spare wheel, jack and wheel spanner. Reflective vests are not required for light motor vehicle drivers.

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