Let’s stop road carnage!

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ZIMBABWE, like the rest of the Christian world, is a few weeks away from the Christmas festive season.
And over the years, the country has experienced terrible road accidents just before, during and immediately
after the festive period. Recklessness, drunken driving and speeding while behind the wheel have been noted as major causes of road carnage.

Just last weekend, there was a horrific road accident in Harare that claimed the life of opulent socialite Genius “Ginimbi” Kadungure and three of his friends. The accident happened at a well-known blackspot
along Borrowdale Road.

The country’s roads have become death traps and the government is quite cognisant of that and it explains why recently it embarked on rehabilitation of the nation’s road network.

Public holidays have sadly become synonymous with huge loss of life as a result of increased road carnage and something urgent must be done to stop or minimise the catastrophe. The urgency is now!

There is a need for heavy police presence on the roads if the war against road carnage is to be won. Police deployed on roadblocks should be there to enforce traffic laws, not to solicit for bribes as we have been witnessing over the years.

It is common cause that rogue police officers have been aiding accidents by their corrupt activities. In all the years, despite their now rhetorical statements, usually read in newspapers, the police are doing little if nothing to ensure the prevention of accidents, most of them caused by unroadworthy vehicles. They are left to travel after paying a “token”

This year alone, scores of people have been maimed and killed as our major highways continue to be death traps. In light of these unfortunate developments, the government should consider enacting a piece of legislation which makes defensive driving mandatory for all licensed drivers.

Other measures that can be enforced should include compelling imported cars to immediately change their motor tyres at ports of entry given the fact that some of the tyres do not suit local climatic conditions.

Most accidents are attributed to speeding, fatigue and overtaking errors, among other causes. Driving at night is part of the problem. The poor state of the country’s roads makes driving an unenviable task.

It is time the police stamped their authority on the country’s roads rather than demand bribes for selfish ends, thereby exacerbating the problem of road accidents. The government must also speed up roads rehabilitation, especially given that motorists are made to pay toll fees, but do not seem to be getting value for money.

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