TSCZ, ZRP campaigns must not be periodic

HARARE - The Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe (TSCZ) must be applauded for launching — in conjunction with the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) – the current accident awareness campaign targeted at the festive season.

However, these campaigns must not be an event but a process as accidents occur all the time.

The year 2017 has been one of the worst in the country’s road carnage statistics, having 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 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.

It is high time authorities explored introducing a raft of legislative and regulatory instruments aimed at reducing road carnage.

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

Some even occur because defective vehicles are allowed to pass police check points after paying a bribe. This must not be allowed to happen.

The ZRP — a body which has been the subject of late following accusations of corruption — must enforce traffic laws indiscriminately.

Road users must make ensure the forthcoming holiday is carnage-free by exercising extreme caution.

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.

Zimbabwe has experienced too many avoidable road mishaps which should jolt authorities into action, ensuring that their campaigns — which must also cease to be periodic — are all-embracing and reach all sections of the population.

The country cannot continue to lose breadwinners to avoidable accidents like has been the case all along.

Concerted efforts will undoubtedly achieve the desired results.