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Road crashes claim 34 lives in 3 days
18/12/2012 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter
 
Tragic death ... Adam Ndlovu
 
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A STAGGERING total of 34 people have been killed in road accidents across the country just in the past three days, police said Tuesday.

Almost 200 crashes were recorded since the outset of the traffic festive season on Sunday, 25 of which were fatal.

The shocking statistics include the smash that killed Zimbabwe soccer legend Adam Ndlovu and injured his young brother, Peter, along the Bulawayo-Victoria Falls highway early Sunday.

A female passenger identified as Nomqhele Tshili was also slain.

On the same day, and along the same road, another accident killed five people and injured eight near Insuza.

Deputy national traffic police spokesperson Assistant Inspector Luckmore Chakanza described the obtaining situation as “frightening.”

He urged motorists to exercise caution especially at this time of the year when volumes of traffic swell on the roads.

Some 147 people died during last year’s festive season, and Chakanza cautions the number of casualties could rise this year.

“From 15 December we have so far recorded 183 road accidents, 25 of which were fatal leading to 34 deaths and 160 injuries.”

“At this rate the figures could surpass last year’s where there were 118 fatal accidents, 1 304 injuries and 147 deaths from a total of 1, 785 accidents countrywide during the 30-day [festive season] period,” Chakanza said.

Police say the number of crashes recorded between January and October this year reached 28 929 compared to 26 500 during the same period last year.

They blame human error for most of the crashes, including speeding and ill-timed overtaking.

And to ease the prevalence, Chakanza urged motorists to stick to speed limits and avoid overtaking on blind spots such as bends and uphill slopes.

Faulty vehicles will not be allowed on the roads, the police spokesman said, adding there will be a heavy deployment of police to deal with traffic regulation violators.

“We want to remind people that we are getting into a busy holiday on the roads because of increased volume of traffic, and we encourage motorists to make sure that their vehicles are serviced and in good condition to avoid breakdowns and accidents.

“They should also ensure their vehicles have necessary documents to avoid delays at roadblocks. These include vehicle and passenger insurance, vehicle and drivers’ licenses, fitness test certificates and radio licences,” said Chakanza.

He added that there will be zero-tolerance for overloading, especially by public passenger vehicles.

“Operators should ensure that drivers carry the specified number of people per vehicle and we would want to appeal to passengers as well to inform police when vehicles they would be travelling in are overloaded.”

The police traffic department is currently running a public campaign to promote road safety under the theme “Drive Safe, Arrive Alive.” The awareness started December 15 and runs through January 15.

“We are distributing pamphlets with phone numbers of police stations including the police headquarters so that people report any form of behaviour like drunken driving, corruption and bribery which are likely to cause accidents,” Chakanza said.

“We do not condone corruption and we want to appeal to motorists not to give bribes to police. Otherwise we as police would want to wish everyone a Merry and accident-free Christmas so we all get into the New Year healthy.”

Chakunza urged owners of public vehicles not to overwork drivers and ensure that tyres are in good condition.



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Zimbabwe has some of the most dangerous roads in the region that many call "death traps."


 
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