Bus and truck drivers are a torment to the police and a constant thorn to the operations of the institution, it has emerged.
Tasked with the duty to combat serious crimes, which include robbery and break-ins, the police core operations are intermittently thwarted and dwarfed by incidences such as over speeding, particularly by profit- oriented individuals.
Last week, the police registered 831 cases of speeding, 28 of which involved buses and 10 involving trucks.
Acting Police Public Relations Officer, Dipheko Motube, noted with concern that some drivers continue to exceed the authorized speed limit of 100km/hr for buses and 80km/hr for trucks.
“The Botswana police would like to caution bus and truck drivers against speeding. The law stipulates that the driver be fined an amount of not less than P30-00 plus P5-00 for every kilometer per hour exceeded, and not more than P1000-00, or to imprisonment for a term not more than five years or to both,” Motube said.
The long distance public service transport leads the pack with the A1 Gaborone-Francistown road recording a summit. Worse still, the road is referred to as the ‘road of death’ by virtue of incessant accidents that occur along the road.
“The police further warn the motorists to exercise care whilst driving along A1 road as some portions of the road between Dibete and Mahalapye are under construction.”
Not only do the public transport drivers break the law often, they also commit other traffic offences.
“Last week a total of forty three public service transport drivers were charged for various traffic offences,” assistant superintendent Motube maintained.
The increasing number of animals on the main roads, sometimes leading to fatal road accidents, further complicates police operations.
During the past week a total of 1031 cattle were removed from the roads country-wide and three people have been charged for letting their cattle into the road.
Between Morwamosu and Lonetree, along the Trans-Kalahari highway, a total of 681 cattle were evacuated from the road.
A total of 125 cattle were also removed from Selebi-Phikwe road in the past week.
Prevalent fatal accidents that occur along our roads “are attributable to the neglected animals. According to the Road Traffic Act, anyone who permits such cattle or other animal to be on the main roads unattended shall be guilty of an offence and shall be sentenced to a fine of not less than P1000 or more than P3000, or to imprisonment for a term of not less than six months or more than 12 months or both”.
In an endeavour to reduce animal attributable accidents, the police advise the public to keep their cattle away from the main roads and, where the roads are fenced, to keep the gates closed to reduce the number of animals straying onto the roads.
Meanwhile this week the police conducted breathlyser tests on 43 motorists and nine of them tested positive and were charged for driving under the influence of alcohol.
A total of 34 motorists were also booked for using hand held mobile phones whilst driving.
The police also reported three murder cases with five arrests having been effected.