Enforce road rules to curb accidents


LAST Friday, five people were killed when a truck collided head-on with a Toyota Aqua along the Bulawayo-Harare Road.

As if that was not enough, the next day, 11 people were killed and 37 others injured when two buses collided head-on along the Beitbridge-Masvingo Road.

Of course, this was not the end of the carnage.

Generally, Zimbabwe is notorious for the shocking number of fatal accidents on its roads.

Last year alone, the Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe (TSCZ) recorded 38 482 road accidents countrywide in the nine months between January and September, translating to 141 road accidents per day.

According to  TSCZ, the country had a record 58 738 accidents in 2018 with 2022 not far behind at 51 107.

The inevitable result of these accidents, most of which were avoidable is, sadly, death and life-threatening injuries.

The main cause of these accidents include the blatant disregard of  road rules, driving under the influence, an increase in vehicle population, non-functioning robots or slippery roads and unroadworthy vehicles.

Strict monitoring of motorists’ behaviour on our roads is, therefore, paramount.

This could be avoided if our drivers behaved responsibly. Regrettably, this is not the case on our roads.

It is unfortunate that the majority of our  drivers, especially on suburban roads, seem to find pleasure  in flouting road rules with reckless abandon.

Sadly, this culture of bad driving finds its way on to the highways. Suffice to say, our high accident rate is not a curse but a problem of our own making.

For instance, at robot-controlled intersections , one would be forgiven to assume that some of drivers are colour-blind.

There is this common tendency to view the amber as a licence to increase speed. The inevitable result is a spike in road accidents and probably loss of lives.

Strangely enough, when police man such intersections, errant drivers seem to remember what the three colours on robot mean.

However, speed is not the only devil on our raods; traffic jams are another. Whenever they occur, especially during peak hours, motorists’ patience is often stretched to breaking point.

It is these impatient drivers who want to overtake at the drop of a hat, leading to the creation of a third lane on what is usually a two-lane highway.

The possibility of a head-on collision or  sideswipe cannot be ruled out in such cases.  

There are also those drivers you see visibly drunk as they stagger to the steering wheel after a night on the town. That is another recipe for impending disaster on our roads. But the best advice to such drivers is: “If you drink like a fish, swim; don’t drive.”

At times, one can’t help wondering if some of our drivers are illiterate because of the blatant manner in which they pay lip service to ‘Give Way’ and ‘Stop’ signs.

This, too, leads to needless accidents.

These are the same drivers, who pose a mortal danger to pedestrians by driving through  ‘Zebra Crossings’.

The cumulative effect of such reckless behaviour is  an unsustainable death and injury toll which could be avoided if our motorists and drivers of public service vehicles respected the Highway Code.

 The Highway Code is the motorists’ Bible, which, when followed to the letter, will see an end to this unfortunate culture of lawlessness on our roads.

We, therefore, urge strict enforcement of all road rules by our police, VID inspectorate, Traffic Safety Board, etc, with culprits being brought to book without fear or favour.

Last, but by no means least, speed traps should be mandatory on all our major highways.


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