Samantha Chigogo Herald Correspondent—
Government efforts to introduce a road accident fund are taking shape as regional teams have been engaged to carefully work on policies aimed at assisting victims of road carnage, a Cabinet Minister said yesterday. This comes as public warnings on cancellation of route permits have been issued to transport operators whose employees engage in reckless driving that leads to accidents and deaths.
Addressing transport operators stakeholders in the capital yesterday, Transport and Infrastructure Development Minister Dr Joram Gumbo, said in-depth research was a necessity before the introduction of the accident fund.
“We are working on structures towards the achievement of the fund and so far we have been relying on regional feedback through case studies and visits so that we come up with something that is well researched and well organised,” he said.
“We are working towards coming up with a policy that would have been properly researched to avoid any shortfalls. I agree that we may be legging behind on the process, but we can assure the nation that the fund will soon be finalised.”
Speaking at the same occasion, Vehicle Inspectorate Department Director Mr Johannes Pedzapasi, urged motorists to surrender their vehicles for roadworthy inspection during the festive season as defect vehicles would not be tolerated on the national roads.
“We call upon all public vehicle operators and general motorists to voluntarily bring their vehicles for inspection, we are giving motorists the opportunity to make us check and identify defects on their vehicles at will before we pounce on them on the national highways and roads,” he said.
“On top of calling for voluntary invites to motorists, we will be intensifying our operations countrywide and together with the police force all unroadworthy vehicles will be impounded for the safety of the public during this festive season.”
Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe (TSCZ) operations, research and marketing director Mr Proctor Utete, said Zimbabwe and South Africa were working on joint campaigns to stop road carnage along highways to and from the neighbouring country.
“We have teamed up with the South Africa police and traffic force as we are targeting thousands of people travelling in and around the two countries, more people will be coming for holidays while others will be going to South Africa and traffic inflow will be hype, hence the need for these campaigns,”
“Twenty teams have already been deployed on the ground and we will team up in Limpopo and Musina first where we will engage the public before we proceed to Zimbabwe to carry out the same campaign strategies aimed at cautioning members in transit on the importance of prioritising road safety and saving lives.”
He said traffic inflow during the festive season was usually higher than any other season, hence there was need to prioritise public safety.
Recently, the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Transport and Infrastructure proposed the deployment of ambulances along the country’s major highways during the festive season, following revelations that in November alone 112 deaths were recorded from road accidents.