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Public transport operators pledge to reduce road carnage

Story by Peter Chivhima

PUBLIC transport operators have pledged to continuously train their drivers on attitude change as a measure to reduce road carnage.

As the nation gears up for the festive season, which is normally characterised by high traffic flow and several activities as the majority travels long distances to spend time with their loved ones, road carnage remains a major worry.

Statistics from the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) show that the last festive season, from 15 December 2022 to 05 January 2023 witnessed a surge in road traffic accidents with 1998 recorded accidents and 127 deaths as compared to the previous festive season from 15 December 2021 to 05 January 2022, when 1 914 road traffic accidents and 102 deaths were recorded.

In light of these statistics, the Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe (TSCZ) this Thursday launched the Festive Season Road Safety Campaign, which saw stakeholders pledging to play a role towards saving lives.

The Zimbabwe Passenger Transport Organisation secretary general Mr Wilfred Chibage said, “Safety is our major concern so what we are doing is to train our drivers on attitude change so that we save lives.”

“What we have done as an association to reduce road carnage is to come up with programmes where we are training our drivers on ways of reducing carnage. We have also made sure that all our vehicles are roadworthy because unroadworthy vehicles are a danger to our commuting public,” said ZUDAC Commuter Service president, Mr Fradrick Maguramhinga.

ZRP National Spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi says they will not hesitate to impound unroadworthy vehicles.

“As police, we shall increase our presence on the roads and this time will not allow illegal pirate taxis to pass through our roads. There is no compromise on this. To the public transport operators please do not just pledge but let’s make sure that we adhere to road rules. We want to warn transporters not to compete for passengers on the roads and let this cascade to our drivers. We are also witnessing some behaviour in which people are fitting LED lights on vehicles, surely, we are going to impound such vehicles.”

Deputy Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development, Honourable Joshua Sacco challenged public transport operators to own their pledge.

“This is the period we commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ, and this is the period where we witness an increase of drivers who find themselves behind the steering while intoxicated. This period requires our drivers to be cautious so that we reduce road carnages. Statistics show that in Zimbabwe we lose almost five people daily and these are our relatives. I was happy to hear representatives of public transport operators pledging to reduce carnage. They also spoke about training their drivers about attitude change. It is in this context that we have launched the 2023 Road Traffic Safety Campaign.”

To reduce road carnage, the government is in the process of revising certain pieces of legislation to come up with stiffer penalties for motorists who cause fatal road traffic accidents as a result of negligence, while rehabilitation and construction of the roads is underway countrywide.

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