VID wants driving curriculum in schools

HARARE - The Vehicle Inspection Department (VID) wants government to introduce a driving curriculum in schools.

Appearing before the portfolio committee on Transport and Infrastructural Development on the causes of road accidents, Joseph Pedzapasi, the VID chief inspector, said his department had come up with a 10-year strategy in which children at kindergarten level are taught road traffic regulations.

“As one of the pillars to our 10-year strategic plan to curb road carnage, we hope to introduce a curriculum where children at primary school level are taught about road signage and rules,” Pedzapasi said.\
“We hope to engage authorities particularly you, honourable members, to ensure that appropriate legislation is put in place.”

He said this would go a long way in coming up with competent and proficient drivers as some of the accidents that occur are a result of careless driving.

Pedzapasi said he was “unsure” whether drivers from the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) were competent enough, since they were not licensed by his department.

He said while the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) had a fully-fledged driving school with well-known training methods, the army had its own way of doing things.

“ZRP has a very competent driving school where they train their drivers and certify them.

“They then forward them to us for the issuance of licence discs,” he said.

“I am, however, not sure of the competence of the military drivers because we are not involved in the way they do their things. Soldiers are allowed to drive on that licence for as long as they are still serving members.”

However, Pedzapasi accused the police for fuelling corruption by turning a blind eye to the scourge when they jointly man roadblocks.

He said government vehicles were not inspected even if it is apparent they are not roadworthy.

Pedzapasi admitted that even police and military vehicles were not inspected despite being defective.

As part of its strategic plan, VID proposes that a deterrent fine for road traffic offenders be urgently promulgated in line with regional standards.

The department also proposes that a road accident fund to help victims of road carnage be put in place as the country is lagging behind others in the region in that respect.

“While in our regional neighbours such as South Africa, vehicles with no route permit are fined up to R3 000, in Zimbabwe the figure is just about $20.

“We feel that is not deterrent enough and thus should be revised,” Pedzapasi told legislators.

The committee was chaired by Zanu PF legislator for Epworth, Amos Midzi.

Comments (1)

We all know that many Zimbabweans buy their licences from VID. They don't go to driving schools, they only learn by driving a car along backroads then they go for the test. How come this issue is not being brought to the attention of the "honourable" portfolio committee on Transport and Infrastructural Development? Everybody knows that you can pass your driving tests and get a licence if you pay enough. Everyday I see many drivers flashing their lights as if they are driving in the rural areas, or driving without lights, or driving at high speed and endangering pedestrians. It is sheer nonsense to pretend that the situation can be corrected by introducing a "strategy in which children at kindergarten level are taught road traffic regulations". In fact, I laugh---in a grim way---at this piece of arrant nonsense.

dr kiskiss - 6 February 2014

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