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Road Usage Information

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Space-saver spare wheels

The issue of space-saver spare wheels is currently the most abused section of Statutory Instrument 129/2015.


Sect. 53 (1) (a) states the spare wheel must be serviceable, in the same way a fire extinguisher must be serviceable. If your spare wheel is inflated, has sufficient tread and is suitable for use, ZRP should accept it.

However ZRP is applying Sect. 14 (6) (a) No person shall drive on any road a vehicle if - (a) any tyres on any one axle of the vehicle are of a different size or type or construction. 

Which would be the case if the space-saver tyre was being USED in the event of an emergency. In practice, while the space-saver is stored in its compartment, the motorist is complying with both Sect. 14 and Sect. 53.


ZRP's stated objective is to reduce road carnage. Enforcing the use of full size spare wheels in vehicles that are not designed to accommodate them is counter-productive. Unsecured spare wheels become missiles in the event of an accident. Ditto for modern vehicles with "run-flat' tyres that have no accommodation for spare wheels.

What should happen:

ZRP Traffic HQ should urgently instruct personnel at every check point across the country to stop penalising motorists for carrying a piece of equipment that is accepted across the world for use in emergencies, and is forcing motorists to carry unsecured and highly dangerous alternatives.

Of relevance is the exact requirements for Tyres appeared in SI 154/2010, (implemented in 2011); and appear UNCHANGED in SI 129/2015.


In the absence of positive intervention by Traffic HQ, we should expect:
1. The motor vehicle industry to engage the Ministry of Transport to make provision for space-savers and run-flats. They’re here to stay and the statutory gazette will have to be amended.
2. The Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe to intervene in the interest of preventing deaths as a result of unsecured spare wheels being carried in passenger compartments.