The Passenger Association of Zimbabwe (PAZ) and public transport operators have expressed concern over the use of spikes by traffic and municipal police which they said endangers the lives of passengers and other road users.
There have been cases this year in which the throwing of spikes by police manning roadblocks has resulted in accidents involving public vehicles attempting to evade arrest for traffic offences.
In a statement yesterday, PAZ president Mr Tafadzwa George Goliati said consultations with transport operators had revealed that most comuters and pedestrians were worried over the use of spikes.
“Our countrywide consultations have revealed that most people are worried by the continued and increased use of spikes by the ZRP and Municipal Police, to deflate the vehicle tyres of delinquent drivers, especially of kombis and pirate taxis.
“This method endangers the lives of passengers and other innocent road users and PAZ feels that these people should not be the collateral damage of the conflict between law enforcement agents and traffic offenders,” he said.
Mr Goliati said law enforcement agents should come up with other ways of bringing to book errant commuter omnibus drivers.
“In the past, iron spikes were used at roadblocks as a deterrent measure and were not mobile and handheld from place to place by traffic officers.
“The Passengers’ Association of Zimbabwe is against all forms of lawlessness, including the breaking of traffic regulations by kombi drivers and pirate taxis. However, we and other law-abiding citizens call upon law enforcement agents to consider the lives and well-being of road users,” he said.
Transport operators said police should take down the registration number of any kombi driven by a driver who breaks the law and make a follow-up rather than endanger the lives of innocent passengers on board.
On Wednesday, Home Affairs Deputy Minister Obendingwa Mguni said police officers should only use metal spikes to control traffic but not endanger motorists and passengers.
Responding to a question in the National Assembly over the use of spikes by police at roadblocks, Deputy Minister Mguni said law enforcement agents had a right to use spikes to control traffic.