Monday, August 15, 2022

Motorists confused by new flagging system

A population of motorists in Gaborone is reportedly confused by the Ministry of Roads and Transport’s new flagging system.

The new vehicle flagging system, which comes into effect March 1st, is an initiative by the government to force offenders to pay their outstanding fines.

Some understand it to mean that a mark will be put against the registration details of a vehicle for purposes of alerting the Department of Road Transport and Safety (DRTS) that the owner or the driver of the vehicle has an outstanding fine.

“I think that the ministry should at least teach the public what this new system is about, I have read about it in the papers but I still don’t understand it. It is too vague,” said Keba Kereng, a 22-year-old motorist.

What most claim to find confusing is that some of the vehicles driven on the road do not belong to the drivers, for example, in cases of company cars or cars that have been borrowed from friends.
Who incurs the costs when a vehicle was fined in the owner’s absence? they asked.

In most cases, when a company car is fined, the driver of the vehicles incurs costs; this, of course, could differ from company to company.

One motorist thought that this meant small businesses could be affected negatively because the business would have to bear the brunt of the fine. The motorists do not understand what will happen to a vehicle once the driver, who is not the owner, fails to pay the fine after 21 days and the vehicle is flagged.

According to the Botswana Police, when a vehicle is flagged any transactions concerning it are placed on hold, vehicle ownership may not be changed and it cannot be registered or licensed for use on the country’s roads unless the fine is cleared.

“Even though I don’t understand it, I think that the new system will somehow help reduce the loss of lives on our roads; people are just too careless. Maybe knowing the penalties involved will make them think carefully about breaking road laws, even if they are not driving their own cars,” said one of motorist.

Some are, however, angry about the new development. They feel that the ministry should not be coming up with a system that serves to punish offenders but one that teaches them to be responsible on the roads.

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