Road safety responsibility for all: UN special envoy
Blessings Chidakwa-Herald Reporter
A United Nations special envoy has called for every citizen to play a role in ensuring road safety and not leave the responsibility to the Government alone.
Speaking after meeting President Mnangagwa at State House yesterday, United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Road Safety Mr Jean Todt said he apprised the President on global trends, specifically in terms of road safety.
The two also discussed a report which was prepared by the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development on road safety in Zimbabwe.
“We need to act, that is what we discussed with the President. It is not only the role of the Government, but the role of everybody because everybody is a road user. So, we need the contribution of global organisations, private sector, media to change, to achieve SDG Target 3.6 on Road traffic injuries which is to halve the number of victims by 2030,” he said.
The meeting comes as Zimbabwe is implementing a raft of measures to adopt international best practices on road safety under the United Nations system.
Already, Government is in the process of revising legislation, rules and regulations to come up with stiffer penalties for motorists who cause fatal road traffic accidents as a result of negligent driving and human error.
The UN special envoy, who is visiting the country for the second time, said they felt welcomed by President Mnangagwa, especially with his encouragement on the proposed opportunities to address road safety.
Mr Todt is a former rally driver and ex-chief executive of Formula One team, Ferrari.
Thereafter, he was appointed as Special Advisor to the UN Secretary General, where he has distinguished himself over the years.
He recently visited East Africa to advocate for the effective implementation of the Global Plan for the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2021-2030, which aims to halve the number of victims on the road by 2030,
In February this year, Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Mhona met Mr Todt on the sidelines of the meeting of the 85th Inland Transport Committee in Geneva, Switzerland, where they discussed practical ways of sharing and adopting international good practices and standards on road safety.
The two also discussed various topics, principally measures to strengthen their institutional capacity and review policy and legislative frameworks for effective road traffic management and regulation for secure and safe roads.
The meeting was also said to have focused on the technical assistance being extended to Zimbabwe to improve various aspects of road safety.
Last year, the UN funded the Zimbabwe Road Safety Performance Review and the visit by Mr Todt is a key signal that the UN system would be following through not only to assess progress, but also to fund the process.