Stop the road carnage

HARARE - Authorities must act with speed to address the issue of road carnage.

While accidents on the country’s highways have almost become the norm in Zimbabwe, it is the number of deaths that should sent shivers down the authorities’ spines.

The death of 24 people yesterday when a Mutoko-bound Zupco bus collided with a Pioneer bus headed for Harare along the Harare-Mutoko Road has left the country shell shocked.

This latest tragedy serves as a wake-up call for the authorities to prioritise rehabilitation of busy highways instead of choosing to concentrate on other comparatively less busy highways, widening them in the process.

It seems authorities are failing to locate the source of the scourge and appear to shoot in the dark hoping that somehow, a solution would be found.

But while all this confusion is taking place, it is the ordinary citizens that bear the brunt.

We call on the relevant authorities to address the situation and avoid the unnecessary spilling of blood.

Carnage on the roads needs a multi-stakeholder approach if lives are to be saved. This means that road users also need to play their part.

Traffic experts and road accident investigators blame vehicle defects, over-speeding, driver fatigue or drunkenness often leading to error in judgment, among other reasons.

The state of the country’s roads whose surfaces have become so rough and rugged, make it a mammoth task for drivers to control their vehicles.

What makes things even worse is the fact that some of the rugged roads are also narrow that buses and haulage trucks compete for the limited space and end up colliding.

To curtail the carnage, there is need for government to invest in the rehabilitation of the country’s road network.

Police roadblocks should not only be about collecting money from errant road users but also to deter would-be offenders by not letting them proceed with defective public transport vehicles simply because they have paid a fine.

Concerted efforts in tightening our road regulations and enforcement regimes should also be considered to ensure that those who flout the rules are given deterrent punishments.

It is only after government introduces stricter measures on the road that lives can be saved.

    Comments (1)

    I have driven along the Harare-Masvingo-Beitbridge Road, Harare -Nyamapnda road, these roads are atrocious and it is by God's mercy that the accidents are few apart else daily we would be hearing of head-on. Let us widen the roads, because ones you try to avoid an oncoming lane encroaching vehicle you get into a ditch.

    maita - 20 January 2015

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