Vehicles that are bought from Asia and Europe have flooded Botswana roads and they bear foreign numbers. DRTS spokesperson, Amos Motshegwa told Mmegi this week that they are concerned about the high number vehicles that are being driven on the local roads with foreign numbers.
He explained that when a vehicle has a foreign number registration means it is not allowed to be driven around in this country. Motshegwa stated that in the past few weeks DRTS had embarked on a campaign to advise people that what they were doing is wrong.
"We have been getting telephone calls from people from as far away as Namibia who wanted to understand what the traffic act says regarding imported vehicles. "We have noticed that vehicles are brought into the country through the Namibian ports," said Motshegwa. He explained that vehicles that come into the country are goods and must be cleared just like any goods that come into the country.
He noted that the traffic act states clearly that the vehicles must be taken to transport offices where they should be taken on a roadworthiness test before being registered. Motshegwa said imported vehicles that come into the country should be ferried in trucks. He pointed out that vehicles that are allowed to be driven with foreign number plates are those which will be in the country for a short period, giving an example of contractors who will be in the country to do some work.
Meanwhile, Motshegwa went on to say that vehicles that are permitted to transport passengers should have blue-plate numbers. Mmegi conducted interviews with some people who were seen driving vehicles with foreign numbers. John Motsumi said he did not know that it was illegal to drive an unregistered vehicle. He explained that he did not see anything wrong with the trend, adding that at the end of the day they end up registering the vehicles anyway.
Another vehicle owner, Nthato Tselaesele said the decision by DRTS to have vehicles being brought into the country on trucks would be expensive. He explained that the main reason why they buy vehicles from outside the country is because they cannot afford the high prices in the local dealerships.
He argued that the department should come up with a way to have the vehicles registered at the border gate to avoid charges that people are still going to face. Tselaesele also complained about the slow service at DRTS office, saying it is also a contributing factor that leads to people driving unregistered vehicles.