New approach to tackle road carnage needed

HARARE - The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) released depressing statistics early this week which showed an increase in the number of road fatalities during the festive season.

In the period under review, at least 89 people lost their lives in 2017 but the figure increased to 122 this year.

According to the police, the major cause of road accidents was human error which could have been avoided.

The police noted speeding was the major contributing factor together with a lack of attention of what is happening on the road while other motorists totally ignored road rules and regulations.

This is very sad and disturbing when people continue to lose their lives due to flagrant disobedience of the law and road regulations.

Some people now drive like it’s the Wild Wild West.

The continuing carnage on Zimbabwe’s roads calls for a much more inclusive approach that can birth a better and computerised traffic management system.

Current government approach where it values punitive but ineffectual measures such as raising traffic offences fine only work in the short term.

The proposed traffic fines only serve to paper over cracks yet what the country needs is a deepening understanding of causes of these road accidents.

You can still drive with a clean licence or without, but accidents will always occur as long as other issues have not been addressed.

For example, there is need to revise our road regulations, provide police with perfect equipment to enforce traffic laws, buy breathalyser machines, have a computerised central traffic  management centre and instal cameras on the streets.

As things stand, given the parlous state of government coffers, road accidents will continue killing people on the roads – because there is nothing suggesting they are going to be a thing of the past.

It really boggles the mind to suggest raising traffic fines without exploring a route which tames road carnage and errant driving on our roads which have become death traps.

Unless government takes an all-encompassing route, Zimbabweans will keep on losing their lives on the roads.


 

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