Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development, Jorum Gumbo has implored the motoring public to exercise caution on the roads to reduce road carnage during the festive season.
Addressing journalists in Harare on Wednesday, Gumbo said Zimbabwe is committed to the United Nations declared Decade of Action for Road Safety which envisages a 50% reduction in road traffic deaths by 2020.
“I would like to appeal to public service vehicles drivers to exercise extreme caution and not to use defective and un-roadworthy vehicles. I want to advice would be offenders that the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) and the Vehicle Inspectorate Department (VID) will be on the lookout for defective vehicles throughout the holiday period
“I thus urge operators of buses and kombis to provide safe and time-ous service which should see everybody being transported to their various destinations safely,” said Gumbo.
He urged bus operators not to overwork their drivers as this often results in fatigue and non-adherence to timetables adding that drivers should stick to regulated speed limits as speeding has been found to be one of the major causes of fatal accidents.
“Driving under the influence of alcohol is a serious offence and is totally condemned. My ministry will not hesitate to cancel route authorities for those operators whose drivers are constantly caught on the wrong side of the traffic laws,” added Gumbo.
Coaches and Bus Operators Association (CBOA) representative Ignatius Nyaviri urged road users to always remember they are carrying passengers.
“As CBOA, we implore all our members and other road users to be safe on the road and remember that they are carrying passengers, that the people they are carrying are family members, they are fathers and mothers, they are brothers and sisters, they are not goods, our duty is to make sure that they get from point A to point B in the safest possible manner,” said Nyaviri.
Ngoni Katsvairo from the Greater Harare Association of Commuter Operators (GHACO) said members of the public also have a duty to ensure that they are safe as they travel.
“We want to work with the public, they also need to ensure that they are safe as they travel for themselves as they board our kombis, they need to check if those kombis have passenger insurance, fitness and the driver is qualified,” said Katsvairo.
According to World Health Organisation 2011 report , 27.5 per 100 000 die in road traffic accidents. In addition, WHO estimates that in 2020, road traffic accidents will be the third highest causes of deaths in the world and this is an upward rise from being number nine in 1998.