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Tuesday, July 16, 2024
HomeNewsGovt to Tackle Road Traffic Accidents with Stringent Measures

Govt to Tackle Road Traffic Accidents with Stringent Measures

The Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development, Felix Mhona has outlined urgent measures to combat the alarming rate of road traffic accidents in the country.

Responding to an inquiry from Midlands proportional representation MP Perseverance Zhou, Mhona highlighted the critical need for action to curb the daily toll of fatalities and injuries.

“Given the numbers that we have in our country, for us to continue having – precisely it is about five deaths per day which actually comes to 150 per month. I have given a thirty-day calendar month and we cannot continue,” Mhona said

The Minister highlighted the broader impact of these accidents, noting that beyond fatalities, many individuals are severely injured, resulting in long-term hospitalization and significant economic strain.

He quantified the financial burden, estimating that road traffic accidents cost the nation about 3% of its GDP, approximately USD 406 million annually.

“Even one life is precious and so dear to us,” he said, underscoring the necessity for immediate and effective measures.

The Minister detailed the government’s efforts through the Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe, including extensive awareness campaigns. However, he lamented that these initiatives have largely fallen on deaf ears.

“The race comes from us. On the behaviour of our motorists, you find someone driving against oncoming traffic in a dualised section. This does not need any awareness. Any sound person would know that these are not road regulations. I wonder, the Police has been calling against that kind of driving.

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“Those who know the mushika-shika (private vehicles) kombis, you see someone akarembera kuseri kwekombi (Hanging at the back). Some on their phones and the worst thing would be someone urinating standing at the bumper which is disgusting, at the end of the day,” the Minister explained

Mhona called for a cultural shift towards a respect for life and road safety, advocating for a collective effort to embrace dignity and responsibility on the roads saying that awareness alone is insufficient and called for robust enforcement measures.

“We will do it together with my counterpart, the Minister of Home Affairs so that visibility of Police on our roads is something that we also need to enhance in terms of the traffic management systems where we are going digital,” Mhona announced.

He stressed the need for punitive measures against those who violate road regulations, sharing the recent tragic incident where a truck driver caused a collision between two buses on Mutare Road and then fled the scene.

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