Calculations of overload fees and penalties should be based on the actual amount by which the transgressing vehicle is above the weight limit and the real distance travelled with the overloaded vehicle.
This is according to works and transport minister John Mutorwa, who this week in Parliament tabled the Mass Vehicle Bill.
The proposed legislation aims to regulate overloading offences as administrative offences.
“Only part of the transport logistics chain is held accountable for overloading, a practice that renders the legislative regulatory framework and system practically ineffective. Through this bill, the whole chain, including the consignor, consignee, operator and driver should be legally responsible for overloading offences,” said Mutorwa while motivating his motion.
According to the minister, fees and penalties should compensate for damages caused to Namibian roads due to overloading.
Mutorwa is convinced that the success rate of the prosecution of road traffic offences is very low, arguing that if the process can be removed from the courts and dealt with administratively, then the success rate would be increased.
Through a recent study, the minister said it was concluded that current information systems being used in Namibia, with respect to road traffic fines, are inadequate, as they are not linked to Namibia’s legal system. This makes it ineffective to collect fees for rehabilitation of damages caused through overload offences.
Furthermore, the Road Fund Administration (RFA) this month stated not enough revenue is collected from current Road User Charges (RUCs) to cover maintenance costs of the national road network. If unchecked, this is expected to severely impact the quality of Namibian road networks. “The RUCs tariff adjustments remain important and necessary in order for the RFA to close the funding gap, to optimally fund the road network and to further address the rapidly deteriorating conditions of both national and event roads,” said RFA CEO Ali Ipinge at the time.
Provided the RUC adjustments are inadequate or sub-optimal, Ipinge said the RFA will plead with the government to make supplemental budget allocations in the medium-term expenditure framework to assist the road sector in meeting some of its funding requirements.