Brake lights are supposed to be steady but signals flash
By Duncan Mlanjira
There is a new trends on the roads of Malawi where some cars are fitted with flashing brake lights but according to Directorate of Road Traffic and Safety Services (DRTSS), this is illegal.
When contacted, DRTSS spokesperson, Angelina Makwecha said “all motorists whose vehicles have such brake lights are doing that against the regulations and are strongly advised to remove them before the enforcement team deals with them”.
She cites Road Traffic (Construction Equipment and Use) Regulations (2000) Regulation 71 which says: ‘Except where otherwise provided, a lamp fitted to or used in connection with any vehicle shall omit a steady light when in operation’.
“The Regulations only provide for the direction indicators to flash or blink when there are in operation,” Makwecha said.
This reporter was driving behind a car whose brake lights kept blinking when he seemed to be applying the brakes and thought there was something wrong with them.
We both headed to Chichiri Shopping Mall in Blantyre and I followed and parked next to him but when I alerted the motorist that something was wrong with his brake lights, he replied that they are special lights.
He informed this reporter that they are made that way and are in stock in motor vehicle service shops.
When the new trend was put across on social media, one citizen responded to say “brake lights — actually all vehicular lights are regulated and that one can’t just fit them with anything like that”.
That’s what prompted this reporter to contact DRTSS for clarification as I wasn’t sure if that particular motorists was applying brakes or that they were blinking on their own due to the car’s vibrations.
Experience on Malawian roads has shown that a lot of motorists are ignorant of road traffic rules or just recklessly break them altogether just as minibus drivers do.