GlobeRiders “Tips From The Road” – Dealing with Police Corruption

Helge Pedersen, famed adventure rider and author of 10 Years on 2 Wheels, took some time during GlobeRiders’ recent ‘Africa Adventure,’ to film a handful of informative ‘Tips from the Road.’ In this installment, Helge talks about dealing with police corruption and ways to avoid it.

Dealing with corruption on the road is troublesome and expensive. Don’t feed the corruption machine, thereby making travel difficult for those who come later by following the example of the GlobeRiders team in Zambia, Africa.

  • Make sure that you have all of your paperwork in order and have paid all of the proper and necessary taxes to legally ride in the country you are traveling through.
  • If you encounter a situation where you suspect some form of corruption, never get off your bike or give away any of your papers.
  • Inform the officers that you are going to make a report to the local tourism authority or embassy if you suspect corruption.
  • If you are unable to leave without paying a fine, demand a receipt.
  • In general, don’t make it easy for a corrupt official to extort any money from you.

Vince – We’re just heading out for the start of our day from Livingstone, Zambia and we get stopped a few kilometers out of town by the police. They had a block up and they wanted us to pay a ten-dollar tax. They want us to produce a piece of paper for a road tax or something.

Lynne – They had no guns. They had no cars so I smiled, waved, made my way through the group and kept on going thinking that if they wanted me and came after me I’d just say ‘I’m just a poor woman. My husband/father/brother/uncle will take care of things if there is a problem and I’m very sorry.’

Helge – Typical in Zambia. Quite a lot of corruption in this country so you have to watch out.

Vince – I told them that I didn’t believe them and that we weren’t going to pay anything and in the meantime I’m going to call Tourism and I’m going to call the Embassy because we think what he is doing is wrong.

Helge – It’s just b.s. It’s corruption and we have billboards in this town against corruption.

Vince – The police here are looking for ways to supplement their income and you just have to be firm and polite… just sit and wait and it will all work out.

Helge – The next biker down the road or the bext tourist that comes I don’t want them to take advantage like that because if you feed into the corruption it’s just going to make it worse. Zambia is a corrupt country. Don’t feed the corruption machine.

-Helge Pedersen, GlobeRiders

Stay tuned for the next GlobeRiders ‘Tips From the Road’