MASERU — An automated spot fine system will finally be introduced before the festive season says police spokesperson, Inspector Thato Ramarikhoane.
Over the past year traffic police have been saying the system will cut down on the number of traffic offenders who default on paying fines for traffic offences.
The issuance of automated spot fines will force road traffic offenders to pay or face charges in court.
Police can open court cases against people who fail to pay their fines within the seven-day deadline from the day of issuance.
Fines range from M30 to M80, depending on the charge. Ramarikhoane said they are concerned by the large number of motorists who default on paying spot fines.
“Even though we don’t have the current statistics, most people who are given spot fines don’t pay, rather they just ignore.
“Many people did not pay over the past years because they knew they would not be easily traced,” he said.
“When the vehicle registration is scanned and it reflects it has overdue debts on the spot fine the driver will have to answer for all the cases,” he said.
He said when a driver is issued with a spot fine ticket it is an admission of guilt.
“We believed when giving spot fines it was a more suitable penalty for people who commit road traffic offences.
“The plan was for them to account for their mistakes, accept the spot fines and move on with their business without being arrested.
“They would then pay for their spot fine within the seven-day deadline,” he added.
He said some drivers give false particulars to make it difficult for them to be traced.
“Some drivers give false particulars to the police when they are given a spot fine and this makes it difficult for police to trace them.
“Just last week about 96 road accidents were reported countrywide and 80 of those accidents occurred in Maseru urban.
“In those accidents five pedestrians were reported dead,” he said.
Police said they have learned that accidents occur because people do not respect traffic laws and road signs hence it leads to serious accidents. In some incidents the road signs are vandalised by people who use the metal poles as yokes, police said.
Ramarikhoane said they will hold more traffic check points to ensure that cars are roadworthy.
This, he said, would ensure motorists do not drive vehicles with worn out tyres and wiper blades.
Police also said with the increasing volumes of imported automatic cars had seen more drivers just speeding without having to worry about shifting gears which has also contributed to increased traffic accidents.
Spot fines are paid at the Lesotho Revenue Authority (LRA) in Maseru and satellite offices in all other districts.
After paying the fines, offenders are expected to report to the police with proof of payment so that their names can be cleared.