Let's all ensure a crash-free holiday

HARARE - Another popular travelling holiday — the Heroes and Defence Forces days — begins tomorrow with several people having already journeyed to different destinations across the country on Friday.

Most of Zimbabwe’s roads are in a bad state, leaving travellers at the mercy of drivers of both public and private vehicles.

In 2013, the same holiday recorded 43 deaths, 189 injuries in a total of 218 accidents across the country, while 40 people died and 139 were injured in 232 road mishaps in 2014.

The year 2015 recorded 13 deaths and 51 injuries in 123 accidents while 13 died and 67 were injured in 101 accidents during the same holiday last year.

The year 2017 started on a bad note and has already registered several bloody crashes.

In March, over a dozen members from the same family — on their way to Masvingo for a funeral — perished after a haulage truck jack-knifed and crashed into the kombi they were travelling on near the National University of Science and Technology in Bulawayo.

A South Africa-bound Proliner bus in April side-swiped with a haulage truck at Nyamatikiti River near Chaka Business Centre killing over 30 passengers — mostly cross-boarder traders — who were burnt beyond recognition.

In June, 43 people perished when a King Lion bus crashed near Nyamakate in Mashonaland West Province.

A kombi rammed into a stationary haulage truck in Dema, Mashonaland East Province in July, killing 10 passengers — six perishing on the spot while the other three died on their way to hospital with the tenth one succumbing to injuries two days later.

While the Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe has already warned against night travel ahead of the Heroes and Defence Forces holiday, it is high time the authorities explored ways of dealing with the carnage on Zimbabwe’s roads.

Most of these accidents result from human error, speeding, overtaking errors, misjudgment, inattention, reversing errors and unlicensed drivers.

The Zimbabwe Republic Police, whose presence on the country’s roads has been topical of late, must enforce traffic laws.

If the police are ever present on our highways, how come unroadworthy vehicles pass through their checkpoints?

Road users must make this holiday carnage-free by exercising extreme caution while authorities should ensure unroadworthy vehicles are found nowhere near the country’s roads.

Also, stringent speed control measures for instance transfixing speed limiters on public transport vehicles like kombis and buses at the point of manufacture may also help reduce the carnage.

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