Concern over holiday road carnage

The remains of the car in which Zimbabwean footballer Adam Ndlovu died

By Tichaona Sibanda
02 January 2013

Concern has been raised at the carnage on the nation’s roads during the festive season, which saw the death toll rise 100 percent compared to the same period last year.

Over 1,094 accidents were recorded by the police, claiming 172 lives and injuring 894 others. The authorities said the alarming statistics represented a doubling in fatalities.

Our correspondent Simon Muchemwa said there is an urgent need to seriously look at all contributing factors to these accidents and develop a comprehensive strategy to curb this carnage.

However Muchemwa said the problem of rising car accidents is compounded by the fact that the police, who are supposed to ensure the observation of traffic rules, are not doing their job.

He emphasized that most accidents in Zimbabwe are caused by the absence of effective road safety policies and laws.

In one of the accidents seven people died in Marondera last week Friday when a haulage truck rammed into three oncoming vehicles. It is reported the haulage truck driver failed to negotiate a sharp curve and collided with the vehicles.

‘The traffic laws are hardly respected in Zimbabwe. Maybe one way to curb the problem is to take tough measures in getting the licence for driving and enforce a harsh law of those violating the rules,’ he said.

Major causes of fatal crashes include unsafe and dangerous overtaking, driving under the influence of alcohol as well as excessive speeding. In the UK careless drivers face jail sentences, while in Zimbabwe a modest court fine is all a dangerous driver might get.

‘I think there is a need to closely monitor roadworthiness of vehicles, especially those tasked with transporting members of the public. Those found violating traffic laws should receive hefty penalties or face jail terms,’ Muchemwa said.

2 Responsesto “Concern over holiday road carnage”

  1. Ras says:

    It should be made easier to get licences to eliminate corruption and forcing some to drive without licences.Its mostly the unlicenced who cause most of these accidents because they`re uneasy,busy looking out for cops instead of keeping their eyes on the road ahead.We have not improved the narrow roads that the white man left when there was fewer cars on the roads.Not only that, the roads are now dust/gravel pothole filled roads. In Indiana,they say its a privilege to have a licence.You have to observe the laws to obtain or keep you licence valid or else it can be revoked for life

    • Anonymous says:

      I really support you on the issue of getting licences. It should be the easiest thing to get the license so that all drivers have to drive without fear of being arrested. There should be also an age limit of getting the license since most of them are caused by young drivers who drive recklessly after getting drunk. Our roads need to be widened and tarred. The roadblocks are useless since they are manned by people of different characters. Some officers are after instant money paid by drivers, some are even so corrupt that they need bribes, some work in their arears of birth that it would be hard to punish their relatives etc. There is a lot need to be done in our country to curb these accidents. We are looking forward to our leaders to work with the people in getting ways to minimise these accidents in our beloved country Zimbabwe.

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