Old drivers never die, says Traffic Safety Board

02 Sep, 2022 - 00:09 0 Views
Old drivers never die, says Traffic Safety Board

The Herald

The Herald, September 2, 1980 

THOUGH many countries require elderly drivers to undergo yearly tests or use public transport, Zimbabwe has not followed suit. It could be the elderly Zimbabwean is a better driver than his counterpart.

Mr Arthur Sandwith, director of the Zimbabwe Traffic Safety Board, said: “Elderly motorists in this country may aggravate the younger ones because of the way they toddle along the roads, but on the whole, they drive safely.

“The frequency of accidents they have is much lower than in the younger age groups, say from 18 to 35, where the exuberance of youths can cause problems on the road.

“I do not think it is necessary to re-examine anyone past the age of 60. They might need a medical check once in a while, but that’s all.”

Of 240 accidents in Bulawayo during June involving 306 drivers, only 9 of the motorists were in the 66-plus age group.

One driver was under 15; 58 were between 16 and 25; 177 were aged 26 to 45 and the remaining 61 were in the 46 to 65 age group.

LESSONS FOR TODAY

  • Nothing beats experience. Older drivers on the road tend to be more cautious because they have learnt a lot from the experiences they have encountered while driving for a long time, unlike the younger generations who lack experience.
  • In Zimbabwe, most of the risky driving is perpetrated by younger drivers some of whom do not have licences but are being allowed to drive public vehicles such as commuter omnibuses and pirate taxis.
  • Driving is an art and once you have mastered it you are set for life. What might be needed are defensive driving courses to inculcate discipline when driving.
  • Government should continue to institute measures to weed out corruption within the Vehicle Inspection Department so that prospective drivers get their licences based on merit and not bribes. This will enhance the quality of drivers on the country’s roads.

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