Drivers should respect lives

HARARE - As Zimbabweans from all walks of life begin travelling to various destinations for the festive holidays, it is important for drivers to observe road rules and avoid driving while under the influence of alcohol.

Instead of this period being for celebrations as family members converge for this once a year gathering, it is sad that we sometimes spoil it because of deaths caused by reckless driving.

In past festive holidays many lives were lost due to accidents and people end up cancelling their festive season engagements so as to attend funerals.

It is also time that the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) introduces Breathalysers at major roadblocks because most of the accidents are being caused by drunk drivers who are prone to speeding and overtaking at blind spots.

We would like to urge drivers to plan their journeys by making sure their vehicles are roadworthy and tyres are in good shape. It is also important to avoid night driving.

There are several advantages of driving during the day, chief among them visibility as animals that stray onto roads can easily be avoided.

The rains are also upon us, hence the need for divers to travel cautiously and not speed in wet conditions.

Motorists are advised to desist from attempting to cross over flooded rivers. While some people would be travelling long distances, it is important for drivers to occasionally take some rest so as to avoid a situation where fatigue grips those behind the wheel.

Long distance buses are urged not to overload and that the coaches’ drivers should not get overexcited as some have in the past been involved in accidents as they “chase” each other and compete for passengers.

We also urge public transport operators to desist from increasing fares taking advantage of people travelling during the festive season.

There are already reports that most long distance buses have already hiked the fares as they prowl on desperate travellers.

As for the travellers, especially those who hike private cars, they have to be vigilant and be sure of the transport they are using because a number of travellers have been robbed after being offered lifts by strangers.

Equally a number of drivers have lost their vehicles to thieves after offering them transport, so it is important for drivers to be on the lookout for suspicious characters who might want to spoil their festive season.

From all of us at the Daily News, we wish you safe journeys wherever you are going and please do not drink and drive!