NABTA persists with calls for traffic fine reduction

04 Nov 2013 19:10pm
WINDHOEK, 04 NOV (NAMPA) - The Namibia Bus and Taxi Association (NABTA) on Monday failed to justify its calls for reduced traffic fines to the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Constitution and Legal Affairs.
NABTA is one of a number of institutions that brought forth their complaints and concerns during a public hearing by the Standing Committee here on Monday.
NABTA chairperson Pendapala Nakathingo told the committee that following the announcement of the increase in traffic fines, taxi drivers in the northern regions in January 2011 handed over a petition to Namibian Police Force (NamPol) Inspector-General, Lieutenant-General Sebastian Ndeitunga in which they requested his office to assist in reversing the up to N.dollars 4 000 fines to old fines of around N.dollars 300.
In the petition, NABTA members also said if the fines have to increase, it should be calculated on normal Government rates.
“Such traffic fines become a threat to taxi operators enforcing them to quit serving the public, which in turn increases the unemployment rate of the country,” Nakathingo said.
He noted that the taxi operators were considering raising taxi fares in order to deal with the high traffic fines, saying in that way, they would then be able to pay the high fines.
He indicated that taxis in northern Namibia were ready to charge N.dollars 20 per individual for trips in towns, and N.dollars 100 for every 30 kilometres driven.
This means from Ondangwa to Oshikango they would charge N.dollars 200. The same would go for trips between Ondangwa and Oshikango.
National Unity Democratic Organisation (Nudo) Member of Parliament Arnold Tjihuiko, who serves on the Standing Committee, said the association was aware of the fact that the people who were being fined N.dollars 300 before were breaking the law.
He thus wanted to know from the association whether it wanted the reduction in traffic fines to enable people to continue breaking the law.
“We are making recommendations and we have to be clear on what you are saying. Are you saying that you want to be able to afford the penalty so that you can continue to break the law?” he wanted to know from the NABTA representatives.
NABTA president Vespa Muunda then responded by saying that it is not supporting anyone in breaking the law, and that the association is just requesting that traffic fines at least be adjusted to “reasonable” amounts.