Mag­is­trate warns er­rant taxi driv­ers

Sunday Express - - FRONT PAGE - Court Re­porters

MAG­IS­TRATE Dlamini Matla, has warned taxi driv­ers against vi­o­lat­ing traf­fic laws with im­punity, say­ing it could lead to the tough­en­ing of ex­ist­ing leg­is­la­tion gov­ern­ing road traf­fic of­fences.

Mr Matla made the re­marks af­ter con­vict­ing and sen­tenc­ing 10 taxi driv­ers charged with vi­o­lat­ing pro­vi­sions of the Road Traf­fic Act by pick­ing and drop­ping pas­sen­gers in un­des­ig­nated ar­eas in Maseru.

Nine of them, mostly “four­plus-one” taxi driv­ers, were or­dered to pay a fine of M500 each or spend six months in pri­son.

Their sen­tences were suspended on con­di­tion they did not com­mit sim­i­lar of­fences in the next three months.

The tenth taxi driver, Tha­bang Lekaka, was or­dered to pay M1000 or spend a year be­hind bars.

Half of his sen­tence was also suspended on con­di­tion he did not com­mit a sim­i­lar of­fice within three months.

How­ever, Mr Matla warned the con­victed driv­ers against mak­ing court ap­pear­ances part of their nor­mal du­ties and con­tin­u­ing to com­mit traf­fic of­fences. He said if traf­fic of­fences con­tin­ued to in­crease, as is cur­rently the case, the gov­ern­ment would be forced to amend the law.

“It might ap­pear to be a use­less ex­er­cise to im­pose th­ese le­nient sen­tences on road traf­fic of­fend­ers, but it might not be the case in fu­ture,” Mr Matla said.

“Th­ese con­vic­tions help in com­pil­ing the statis­tics of road traf­fic of­fences so that the leg­is­la­ture may con­sider other means to solve the prob­lem, in­clud­ing amend­ing the law.

“We are still us­ing the 1981 leg­is­la­tion which you can see has now be­come ir­rel­e­vant to the cur- rent times.

“Peo­ple com­mit traf­fic of­fences know­ing fully well they will just be fined M500 and go.”

‘MATHABISO Ramosa­jana of Koal­a­bata winces in pain af­ter sus­tain­ing se­ri­ous in­juries on her left leg which was run over by a com­muter taxi she was try­ing to board as it sped off from on-com­ing traf­fic Po­lice near Pi­o­neer Mall in Maseru on 14 March 2015.

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