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Wednesday, May 29, 2024
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Zimbabwe commemorates UN road safety week

Story by John Nhandara

THE Government is working on revising statutory instruments to strengthen road safety legislation in the medium to long term.

Zimbabwe this week joins the rest of the world in marking the United Nations Road Safety Week with attention being drawn towards strengthening road safety measures to minimise road carnage.

Current statistics show that five people are killed daily in road traffic accidents, and the government is considering revisiting some of the various pieces of legislation on road safety.

“The issue of managing safety on the roads needs a holistic approach. The pieces of legislation we have were at times not very punitive. We have revisited several statutory instruments and we are now finalising them and introducing them to the public. We are not going to tolerate negligence on the roads. We will be seeing very punitive measures,” said the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development, Honourable Felix Mhona.

There are proposals to have all drivers undergo a retest after a certain period and for a defensive driving certificate to be made compulsory.

The Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe (TSCZ), which has since embarked on a programme to remark pedestrian crossing points in Harare, noted the far-reaching negative economic effects of accidents on the country.

“We have 150 people dying every year due to accidents. We cannot afford that and also UN studies have shown that the economic cost for accidents is more than US$5 million every year.

“So we need to practice safety on the roads. So we have mobilised resources to do pedestrian marking crossings,” said the Managing Director of the Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe, Mr Munesu Munodawafa.

The UN global road safety week comes at a time Zimbabwe has witnessed a sharp increase in fatal road traffic accidents.

Zimbabwe is also a signatory to the global plan for the 2021-2030 decade of action for road safety with an ambitious target to reduce road traffic deaths and injuries by 50 percent by the year 2030.

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