Police deployed to curb accidents

06 Aug, 2022 - 00:08 0 Views
Police deployed to curb accidents Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Felix Mhona

The Herald

Freeman Razemba Crime Reporter

Police will be heavily deployed along the country’s major roads to ensure that motorists abide by all traffic laws in a bid to curb road carnage during this year’s Heroes and Defence Forces holidays.

In a statement, Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Felix Mhona said drivers should adhere to regulated speed limits, as speeding and reckless driving were major contributors to road carnage.

He said driving under the influence of alcohol and other illicit substances was a punishable offence as it is unacceptable.

“As we approach the Heroes and Defence Forces holidays, it is critical to note that there will be an inevitable increase in travel, as many of us will want to commemorate the holidays with family and friends. In light of this, the focus on road safety becomes critical. Motorists are therefore urged to make their holiday journeys safer through careful preparation and making the right choices.

“This is a significant time for our nation, and no holiday should be marred by road carnage that can be circumvented through simple adherence to road rules. I would also like to appeal to operators of public service vehicles and private motorists to desist from using defective and unroadworthy motor vehicles,” he said.

He said operators and motorists were strongly urged to take measures to curb driver fatigue and avoiding embarking on long journeys without proper rest and preparation.

“Drivers should adhere to regulated speed limits, as excessive speeding and reckless driving are major contributors to road carnage. Furthermore, driving under the influence of alcohol and like substances is a punishable offence and is unacceptable. It is our responsibility not only as motorists, but as travellers to preserve the sanctity of life by being law abiding citizens who practice a high degree of care, especially when driving.

“To further prevent road traffic related injuries and fatalities, the Zimbabwe Republic Police and the Vehicle Inspectorate Department will be participating in joint enforcement operations throughout the holiday period. Our Traffic Safety Council will also undertake road safety awareness campaigns to encourage road users to make their contribution towards road safety. May I take this opportunity to wish all Zimbabweans a safe and accident-free Heroes’’ and Defence Forces Holiday,” Minister Mhona said.

Speaking during the launch of the 2022 Heroes and Defence Forces Holidays Road Safety Campaign on Thursday, Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe board chairperson Mr Kura Sibanda said there was need for all stakeholders to redouble efforts to arrest road carnage.

“A week ago, six people drowned and lost their lives after two heavy vehicles collided along the Harare- Masvingo Highway. The Zimbabwe Republic Police reported of this fatal road traffic accident, which occurred on the 29th of July 2022 at the 54km peg along Harare – Masvingo road.

“A haulage truck with four occupants on board side-swapped with an excavator with two people on board resulting in both vehicles falling in Mupfure river. 2022 had its share of fatal accidents, as we build up to the Heroes holiday, we have had five fatal accidents that have claimed over twenty people. During the upcoming holiday where we remember our gallant sons, we aim to minimize the number of road fatalities and road injuries by way of physical and media awareness campaigns across the country,” he said.

Mr Sibanda said through collaborative efforts, they can find new and creative ways to make decisive interventions in this regard.

“As the country gears up for the Heroes Holiday, it is important once again to highlight the significance of Road Safety. Increased volumes of traffic will be on our roads as the public use this period to engage in social, cultural and religious activities. As witnessed by the Chimanimani fatal road crash that happened earlier this year, those that travel to church gatherings tend to overload passengers and goods.

“We have also noticed an increased number of unlicenced drivers in ferrying these people to and from church gathering and conferences, we therefore urge them to avoid overloading and ensure that the drivers responsible for their travels are licenced. When travelling at night, we encourage pedestrians to wear bright colours or reflective clothing so that motorists can see them from a distance. We urge all road users to adhere to the rules of the road,” he said.

Mr Sibanda said many lives have been lost because of unbecoming conduct by those who choose to be reckless and undermine the rights of others with their conduct.

“It is truly tragic that the majority of those, whose lives are lost during the holidays, are as a result of reckless driving. Therefore, we encourage members of the public to exercise caution at all times.

“This year’s heroes and defence forces holiday campaign is running under the theme, “WATCH THE KILOMETER AHEAD”, what we are basically saying to our drivers is that be mindful of the dangers on the road in the kilometre you are about to approach. These dangers vary from stray animals, invisible road markings, broken and narrow bridges, overloading and drunk driving by other motorists,” he said.

Police and other relevant law enforcement agents have since deployed adequate human power on the roads.

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