45 perish in bloody Easter

HARARE - The Easter death toll has increased to 45, with 180 injured in 386 road accidents between Thursday and Monday, police have said.

National police spokesperson Paul Nyathi said the number has escalated with three more deaths from the 42 recorded by Sunday.

This is a big jump in road carnage as compared to last year’s overall 23 Easter holiday deaths.

Police said the Midlands Province recorded the highest death toll with 10 people perishing.

Nyathi told the Daily News that reports on road accidents were increasing at an alarming pace.

“We have recorded 386 road accidents and 180 injuries between Thursday and Monday,” he said.

“There is a fierce rise from last year’s 206 accidents with 150 injuries. We are trying to restore order on the highways so as to reduce cases of road accidents. We have impounded 147 vehicles while issuing 7 453 tickets for traffic offences.”

While the Midlands recorded the highest road accident-related deaths, Bulawayo recorded zero deaths.  
 
“Bulawayo still stands clean on the chart, recording zero accident–related deaths. Provincial figures show that Midlands is on the forefront with 10 fatalities whilst Manicaland is second-placed with nine,” said Nyathi.

Harare has recorded five road accident-related deaths while Mashonaland East recorded eight over the holidays.

Nyathi urged motorists to exercise maximum caution on the highways.  

“We keep on encouraging drivers to be cautious when ferrying passengers. They must avoid speeding and continue abiding by road regulations,” he said.

The Easter death toll has soared despite messages from the Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe sent over mobile phones urging motorists to exercise extreme caution when driving. - Shame Manesa and Bryn Gumbo

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