Motoring industry experts have called on Government to enforce Statutory Instrument 129 of 2015 that compels passenger service vehicles, lorries and haulage trucks to be fitted with speed limiting devices to reduce accidents.
The call comes after a spike in fatal road traffic accidents, with the latest being last week in which five people died while more than 20 were hospitalised in the aftermath of a bus and fuel tanker collision along Mutare-Harare highway on Christmas Eve.
Statutory Instrument 129 of 2015 (64) (2) states that; “No person shall drive on any road a passenger public service vehicle or a heavy vehicle with a net mass of 4 600kg or more, unless one of the following speed monitoring or speed limiting devices is fitted to the vehicle (a) a tachograph (b) a tacho-log (c) vehicle data recorder (d) fleet manager (e) co-driver (f) any other speed monitoring or speed limiting device which the Minister, after consultation with the Standards Association of Zimbabwe may publish in the Gazette.”
Mr Tendai Mujuru, an expert in speed limiting devices with Sytech Africa said life was vital hence, the need to preserve it.
He said once the law is enforced, it is projected accidents will be reduced by 60 percent.
“Just like in any society, human life and health are valued so highly that there is a special obligation to use our scientific abilities to bring the problem of highway traffic safety under control. There is no doubt that in the recent Mutare accident, speed was also a factor given the severity of the crash, the explosion, the injuries sustained by the victims and the fatality rate. Speed is a risk factor for road traffic deaths and injuries,” he said.
“This has been a long-overdue move. It is now time that the law that requires all public service vehicles to be fitted with the device be enforced. That can help save thousands of lives.”
Mr Mujuru said scientific research had shown that 90 percent of road traffic crashes are a result of human error due to speeding.
He called on the Government to extend the Statutory Instrument to private vehicles saying nations that have implemented speed limiting devices saw a reduction in road crashes, injuries and fatalities which is a major step towards zero death by 2050.
In an unrelated matter, the Passenger Association of Zimbabwe (PAZ) has raised alarm over increasing highway robberies.
“The Passengers’ Association of Zimbabwe is in shock on how buses and passengers are being robbed of their hard earned cash and valuables on our national highways. The authorities must implement random highway patrols to scare off these robbers. After every 100 kilometres there must be police officers patrolling vehicles,” said a statement from PAZ.