Weighbridges: CCTV cameras to curb bribes, evading motorists

16Jan 2020
The Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
Weighbridges: CCTV cameras to curb bribes, evading motorists

MOTORISTS who are used to violating vehicle load rules should be prepared to pay hefty fines or be jailed since weighbridges in the country are now being fitted with Closed-Circuit television (CCTV) cameras.

Deputy Minister Elias Kwandikwa

The Ministry of Works, Transport and Communications has also warned unscrupulous weighbridge operators who take bribes from overloading drivers violating permitted weight as incidences of money changing hands will be captured on real-time footages.

Deputy Minister Elias Kwandikwa sent the warning message yesterday while tabling a report on operations of the Tanzania National Roads Agency (TANROADS) before the parliamentary standing committee on infrastructure development in Dodoma.

He said the cameras enable the monitoring of vehicles going through the bridges and the tonnage registered as well as interaction between staff manning the installations and motorists.

The method is a panacea for previously runaway corruption at weighbridges, he stated, noting that the cameras operate for 24 hours, trapping even those who might think of taking advantage of darkness. 

“The new system now enables us to monitor the whole weighing process as well as corrupt activities,” he said.

 With the new system all motorists with vehicle overloaded with cargo have no chance of getting through weighbridges without being punished as no operator will risk their jobs by accepting a bribe in the full glare of CCTV cameras, the deputy minister intoned.

“From July to December last year, out of 3,080,285 vehicles that passed through weighbridges already been fitted with the cameras, 19,432 violated the rules and were fined,” he told the committee.

He named weighbridges fitted with the cameras as Njuki (Singida Region), Nala (Dodoma), Wenda (Iringa) and Mpemba (Songwe).

He encouraged motorists to acquaint themselves with the East African Community Vehicle Load Control Act, 2016 to avoid getting in trouble with authorities and the consequent fines.

Tanzania began implementing the East African legislation in January last year with some transporters facing stiff penalties for contravening its provisions.

The law, passed in 2017, aims to protect roads by curbing overloading. Vehicles with a gross weight of 3,500kg and over have to be weighed at every weighbridge they pass through. The weight in axle of super single tyres has been lowered to 8.5 tonnes from 10 tonnes.

The law stipulates a USD15,000 fine or three-year jail term or both for contravening the weight rules.

For his part, the chairman of the parliamentary standing committee on infrastructure development Selemani Kakoso commended the project saying it is likely to end violation of load rules and endemic corruption at weighbridges.