When police demand driving license

When police demand driving license

A traffic police inspects a safety belt on a passenger during an ongoing matatu crackdown in Nyeri on September 13, 2011. The exercise entered the third day and has seen many matatu operators withdraw their vehicles from the roads. Many residents have turned to walking to their work places or paying double fare to the operating matatus. Photo/ JOSEPH KANYI

A police officer is a Law Enforcement Officer. Whatever actions he takes must be supported by a section or sections of written law.

Therefore, a police officer is allowed by law to demand for a driving licence from any driver.

But he is not allowed by any law to confiscate any driver’s licence. Section 75 of The Road Traffic Act 2002 dictate that only the Court has such powers.

Please ‘on demand’ does not mean on the spot, instant or right now. No! No! No! No!

Section 214 (1)(b) educates us all as follows:
Any road traffic inspector in uniform or police officer who, if not in uniform, produces an identity card and any other person authorised in writing by the Minister to exercise the powers bestowed by this section who produces such authority may DEMAND-

(b) from any person driving a motor vehicle on a road the person’s driving licence, or provisional driving licence and, in the case of the latter, the driving licence of the person supervising the driving in terms of proviso (i) to subsection (2) of the section thirty one.

(2) Any person who fails to produce on DEMAND any document referred to in subsection (1) commits an offence unless within fourteen days thereafter or within such greater period as a road traffic inspector in uniform or police officer or person authorised in writing may specify, that person produces or otherwise furnishes the document at such police station as may have been specified by the officer or inspector.

The law gives the life spun of the DEMAND as 14 days or any greater period to produce your licence. This is the correct position of the law.

The wrong position of the law is when ON DEMAND is misinterpreted as MANJE SO (right now). Any officer who takes action because you did not carry your driving licence is wrong and he must be reported to:
1. RTSA Integrity Committee if he is a RTSA inspector
2. Zambia Police Integrity Committee or any officer in charge of a station or post
3. ACC if money was taken as ON DEMAND
4. TIZ if money was the DEMAND meant.
Note: all integrity committees handle corruption related matters by their officers.

Constable Omari Muwowo.

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