The Nkhunga First Grade Magistrate court in Nkhotakota has ordered a driver to pay a fine of K500, 000.
The driver has been ordered to pay such a hefty sum for causing deaths of two people due to reckless driving.
Fraser Double, 32, of Maunga village in the area of Traditional Authority Mphuka in Thyolo district appeared before First Grade Magistrate Kingsley Buleya where he pleaded guilty to two counts of causing death through reckless driving under section 126 subsection 4 of the Road Traffic Act.
The driver caused the death a 15-year-old pedal cyclist and a 16-year-old pedestrian in a fatal road accident which occurred at Luwaladzi Trading Centre along the Dwangwa/Nkhotakota M5 road.
While presenting facts surrounding the case, Prosecutor Wills Asibu told the court that during the time the driver was traveling from Dwangwa to Nkhotakota direction whilst carrying 89 bags of rice.
He later hit the cyclist who emerged into the road while the vehicle was at a close range in an attempt to cross the road from the left side.
Due to the impact, the vehicle swerved to the extreme right lane where it hit the girl who was walking towards the opposite direction.
The girl identified as Mwayiwawo Chimenji died on the spot while the pedal cyclist, Yamikani Phiri was rushed to Nkhotakota District Hospital where he was referred to Kamuzu Central Hospital but died before arrival.
Police investigations established that the driver was overspeeding the car and did not take due consideration of other road users bearing in mind that the scene is a busy trading centre where drivers expect to meet a lot of traffic.
While passing the penalty, Magistrate Buleya bemoaned the increase in road accidents in the country. He pointed out that most of the accidents are preventable as they occur due to failure of drivers to take due consideration of other road users.
The magistrate then ordered the driver to pay a fine of K250, 000 for each death caused or serve a two-year jail term for both counts.
He also ruled that out of the K250, 000 fines for each count, K150, 000 should go to the bereaved families as compensation.
The driver managed to pay the fines.