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TRAFFIC-Policerevoke fines on drivers

Traffic Police Officer: George Kenyi

By William Madouk Garang

The National Traffic Police on Friday revoked the latest controversial punitive order that imposed hefty fines on motorists who violate traffic rules across the country.

On Wednesday 9, the Directorate of National Traffic Police issued a disciplinary directive against traffic rule violators in the country. It consists of 15 traffic offenses with fines ranging from SSP 2,000 to 50,000 for major violations.

The cancellation came after a group of concerned advocates threatened to sue the ministry of Interior if it did not call off the recent standing order imposing fines against motorists who might break traffic rules.

A group consisting of nine lawyers stressed that the ministry of Interior had no power to issue law out of what was in Traffic Act 2003 and if there was a need for amendment it would be the August House to do so.

In a petition delivered to the Minister of Interior, Mahmoud Solomon on Friday, the lawyers gave the government a 72-hours ultimatum for the cancellation of the standing order or meet in court.

“In case of failure to comply within a period of 72 hours from the receipt of the notice, we will be forced to redress from a court of law and apply for judicial review at your cost,” part of the petition.

In his cancellation letter dated 11th Feb, Lt-Gen Akok Noon Akok, the Assistant Inspector General of Traffic Police, said that they noticed that the public was not satisfied with the recent order and as such gave a cancellation directive.

“The Traffic Department has continued monitoring the interaction of the public on the various media outlets and noticed that most people are not satisfied with these corrective measures,

“Therefore, I Lt-Gen Akon Noon Akok the A/IGP of National Traffic Police issued this standing order canceling the afore-mentioned order from its signature 11th February 2022 AD,” Gen. Akok stated.

He added the earlier directives were to reduce such violations and misconducts by some motorists on the road.

However, the renowned activist, Edmund Yakani of Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO) appreciated the traffic police for swift reply adding that “This is a clear demonstration of leadership that aims at saving the public interest,”

Mr. Yakani said all points raised by concerned advocates were true and alleged that some leaders in public office were abusing laws just for financial gain.

“It is time to stand up and fight corrupt practices exercised by some of our leaders in our public offices.  IGP act for canceling the order is remarkable and this should be followed-up by serious reforms in the traffic police behaviors especially the officers on the streets,”Yakani said.

CEPO called on traffic administration to install discipline on traffic officers in the streets and also proposed that IGP establishes public complaining mechanism to report the behavior of some traffic officers.

“CEPO want to bring to the attention of the IGP office that some boda-boda riders who did a peaceful demonstration dated 12th January 2022 petitioning the Central Equatoria State leadership over corruption are reporting cases of harassment, intimidation, and life threats by their fellow boda-boda riders who claimed to be state security officers. This issue require a quick response from the leadership of the IGP office,” he concluded.

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