Motorists warned against concealing plate numbers

On 31 December 2021 at 06:29

Rwanda National Police (RNP) has sternly warned motorists against modifying or concealing plate numbers so as to beat speed enforcement cameras from detecting their road traffic violations.

This comes after a number of motorists have been arrested for the same criminal acts.

On Thursday 30th December 2021, RNP paraded in Kigali, nine more taxi-moto operators, who were arrested for allegedly either modifying or concealing original letters and figures of their motorcycles’ plate numbers in order to avoid being detected and fined by the speed enforcement cameras.

Olivier Mizero, one of paraded taxi-moto operators told the media that he altered the plate numbers last month to avoid traffic fines.

"I concealed letter Z to prevent being detected and fined by the cameras because I had been fined twice," said Mizero.

Daniel Sibomana also said that he applied removable colours to make the registration number plates less visible to the cameras.

Daniel Ngarambe, the head of the federation of motorcycle cooperatives said that such actions affect the image of their transport profession and a threat to the lives of people.

"When you modify your plate numbers, you forget that there could be another motorcycle with that number you have forged, who will received the message for the offence they did not commit," said Ngarambe.

Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Rene Irere, the spokesperson for the Traffic and Road Safety (TRS) department, said the suspects had changed or concealed the plate numbers, which amounts to crime.

"So far, we have arrested 16 motorcyclists in different operations, who modified their number plates of hid them to deliberately violate traffic rules, especially speeding," said SSP Irene.

He added that some of these motorcycles are used in other criminal acts like snatching valuables from people at night, smuggling and trafficking of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.

"These are hi-tech cameras which can detect the discrepancies. Besides, there are different types of cameras on roads as well as the strong partnership with the public through information sharing. So, in one way or another, you will be identified and arrested to face the law," SSP Irere warned.

Article 276 of the law determining offences and penalties in general states that, any person who, in any manner, forges or alters documents by forged signature or fingerprint, falsifying documents or signatures or impersonation, forging agreements, its provisions, obligations, or discharged obligations, commits an offence.

Upon conviction, he/she is liable to imprisonment for a term of not less than five (5) years but not more than seven (7) years and a fine of not less than Rwf3 million and not more than Rwf5 million or only one of these penalties.