ZIMBABWE has recorded a decrease in the just-ended festive season road traffic accidents compared to 2022, although deaths were higher at 154, compared to 143 people who perished during the 2022/2023 festive season accidents.
The decline in road accidents is seen as a positive response to the measures being implemented by police and Government in promoting road safety.
Some of the initiatives include enhanced police operations such as the “Tame the Traffic Jungle” meant to curb road menace and accidents.
Police said 1 082 festive season road traffic accidents were recorded up to New Year’s Eve, compared to 2 154 during the same period last year.
The festive season begins December 15 and ends on January 5.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said there was a decline in road accidents during the festive season, especially on New Year’s Eve.
“During this season we recorded a lesser number of accidents compared to the previous year.
“Our statistics show that we are on the right trajectory in terms of reducing road accidents, with major accidents being along the highways.
“We attribute the reduction to measures implemented by the Second Republic as well as the police in curbing road accidents,” he said.
On the number of deaths, Asst Comm Nyathi said there was a slight rise.
“We recorded 154 deaths compared to 143 recorded last year and there was a very sharp in the number of those injured compared to last year,” said Asst Comm Nyathi.
He said 675 people were injured in road accidents on New Year’s Eve compared to 408 last year.
The police have said they will continue to enforce traffic rules a to reduce accidents.
“We will not rest until there is sanity on our roads where motorists drive safely and adhere to all traffic rules and regulations.
“To all that are in the habit of violating traffic regulations, the law will catch up with you soon,” said Asst Comm Nyathi.
More than 200 000 people have been arrested across the country since the launch of the traffic blitz dubbed “Tame the Traffic Jungle” last September and over 3 000 vehicles impounded.
The operation is a partnership between police, local authorities and other stakeholders.
The other stakeholders include the Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe, the Vehicle Inspectorate Department, the Insurance Council of Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwe National Roads Administration and the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority.
The operation was launched because of the continued lawlessness on the roads, particularly in major cities and towns where some drivers are flouting road traffic rules.
Asst Comm Nyathi also noted that part of the impounded vehicles include those without route permits while some are illegal pirate taxis (mushikashika). Some of the arrested motorists include reckless drivers and touts.
He said they are also concerned with the reckless conduct by pirate vehicles, mushikashika and some registered kombis that are carrying passengers from undesignated points in violation of the country’s laws.
“Licenced public service vehicles are contributing to the chaos and congestion by loading and unloading passengers at undesignated points and openly endangering the lives of the public through reckless conduct at controlled road intersections and traffic lights,” he said.
Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister, Kazembe Kazembe, and Police Commissioner General Godwin Matanga have hailed the decision to implement “Operation Tame the Traffic Jungle”, saying sanity is slowly returning to the country’s roads.
The Government has also said there is a need adopt technology to enhance control and compliance.
“It may not be asking for too much to have cameras on our roads as soft policing,” said Minister Kazembe.
*Positive Eye News*