Upsurge in road  accidents unacceptable

© THE increase in road traffic accidents recorded during the Independence and Easter holidays is disturbing and unacceptable.

According to the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP), accidents recorded during these holidays rose to 674. It is also undesirable and sad to note that the number of deaths recorded increased marginally from 44 to 58 and that 329 travellers were injured compared to 397 this year.

According to road accidents reports, the majority of the accidents are due to human error, speeding, overtaking errors, poor judgment, inattention, reversing errors and unlicensed drivers. These could be avoided.

There is need for drivers to travel at safe speeds, observe road rules and regulations, and consider the condition of the road and safety of other road users. 

Pedestrians also need to be observant when crossing any road.
Given the number of institutions whose responsibilities include dealing with the issue of road safety, among them the ZRP, the Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe (TSCZ) and the Vehicle Inspection Department (VID), the carnage on the country’s roads should by now have been significantly curtailed.

These government institutions seem to be sleeping on duty instead of overseeing and coming up with proactive measures to tame the madness on Zimbabwe’s roads. Most of these institutions only react when tragedy has struck, which is tantamount to crying over spilt milk.

While the TSCZ always issues out warnings against bad driving habits, these come a bit late when travellers are already going for holidays.

Therefore it is high time they explore ways of dealing with road user education as a matter of priority. 
The ZRP can also do more. But while increased police highway patrols may significantly be part of the solution, it is also the duty of all road users — chief among them drivers — to always exercise caution on the roads and play a part in ensuring that no accidents occur on our roads.

To TSCZ and VID, road regulation enforcement and other interventions must not be occasional but must be permanent practice. 

This will surely minimise carnage on our roads.
Largely, there is need for collaborative efforts by all stakeholders to instil a culture of good driving.

It is pleasing that there have been significant investments towards revamping the country’s major roads that were hitherto reported to have the highest number of accidents such as Plumtree–Mutare Road.

This must be sustained so that our roads do not become death traps.

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