It is next to impossible to drive in Lusaka today without being harassed by traffic police officers. Everywhere you drive, there is a cop ready to pounce. The only objective of these cops is to line their pockets and dupe unsuspecting motorists of their hard earned money.
Part of the problem is that RTSA and other responsible bodies have failed to publish a list of traffic fines. Taking advantage of this, these officers threaten motorists with a charge of “dangerous driving” for very minor offences. They scare the motorist into thinking that his/her car will impounded or he/she will be locked up. Or they quote inflated fines for minor offences. Upon hearing this, the motorist panicks and ends up paying the cop a bribe. Many a times, the cop asks the motorist for his driving licence. Once he gets hold of the motorist’s license, he is at the officers mercy. The officer will claim any minor offence and force the motorist to bribe him or else he will not get his license back. The officers never have charge sheets or reciept books with them. They are known to carry one crumbled up charge sheet in their pockets or hats to threaten motorists into paying bribes. The worst are the lady officers who are greedy and stubborn. This is the normal way these cops operate.
It is high time that we as motorists reclaim our roads and fight for our rights. Below we have listed a few tips in this regard:
*An officer has no right to forcefully enter your vehicle and tell you to drive to the police station. You have every right to refuse. If you have committed an offence, then tell him/her that you will meet them at the police station. Do not open the door for them.
* Don’t ever make the mistake of handing your driving license over to them. If you do then they will have an upper hand over you. Remember that it is against the law for a traffic officer to confiscate your license.
Below we have listed a few places where these scoundrals tend to hide in ambush. Be especially vigilent when driving in these areas:
1. When turning from Church Rd. on to Kabelenga Rd. (Near Levy Mall)
2. Lumumba Rd. (City Market Robots). You’ll find then hiding behind the traffic lights.
3. When travelling on Kafue Rd. towards Kafue Roundabout at the Carousel Shopping centre robots
4. Burma Rd. Robots near the big mosque
5. At the Manda Hill robots (near Manda Hill police station)
6. Church Rd. and Makishi Rd. Junction at the Fire Brigade
(These are just some common places where they like to hang around. Please add on other places and forward)
One way of teaching these cops a lesson if they harass you is to take their photo (secretly) and thereafter post the photo with your story on social media or, better still, send the photo with your story to the Zambian Watchdog. The only way these cops will stop harassing us is if we start exposing their corrupt activities.
Please forward this message to every motorist you know. Remember to add tips and other common spots where these cops hang out.
LET THE CAMPAIGN TO RECLAIM OUR ROADS BEGIN!