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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

2023 Driver of the Year competition launched

Story by Kenias Chivuzhe

The Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe (TSCZ) continues to implement a raft of measures to reduce road carnage with the launch of the Driver of the Year competition being one such initiative.

The high number of road accidents in the country is a growing cause for concern that has prompted the TSCZ to introduce the competition as part of ways of encouraging responsible behaviour by drivers on the road.

The competition was launched in Vumba this Sunday.

Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe managing director, Mr Munesu Munodawafa said, “As Traffic Safety Council, we are concerned at the rate of accidents in Zimbabwe and we are implementing a raft of measures to try to reduce road accidents. If we look at the statistics in Zimbabwe, we lose five people per day due to road accidents. This translates to hundred and fifty people per month.

“When you look at the social impact of that loss, it’s terrifying. The vehicle is one of the most precious properties, hence the need to protect them. The economic impact of accidents is just too much. It was estimated in the 2019 study by the UN that the economic cost of accidents in Zimbabwe was about ZW$406 million annually then.”

Driver of the Year competition participants believe the initiative will encourage good behaviour, with the broader objective being to reduce road accidents.

“The driver of the competition is very good as it gives drivers a chance to assess themselves. This will encourage drivers to follow road rules and regulations thereby reducing accidents,” one participant told the ZBC News.

Another noted, “We are witnessing that there are a lot of accidents happening in the country with most of them involving huge trucks. These competitions help us to sharpen our driving skills and reduce accidents.”

Female drivers also participated in the competition.

“I want to encourage other women to participate in such competitions. I drive trucks. I once participated in 2018 and got a prize, and today is my second time. Women should remove fear and become part of these initiatives,” said a lady driver.

“This is my first time and I was the only woman under the bus category. I want to urge more women to drive buses as driving is just driving irrespective of small cars or buses. I was motivated by the First Lady, Dr Auxillia Mnangagwa who took her own licence showing others that it can be done,” another said.

Meanwhile, the Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe has revealed that the national competitions will be held either in Gweru or Bulawayo this July.

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