Tedious Manyepo Herald Reporter
At least 581 people have been killed, while 3 260 were injured in road accidents recorded countrywide between January and May this year, Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe (TSCZ) has said. The council said 11 513 accidents were recorded during the same period.
The figure represents a decline in the number of fatalities recorded last year that saw 685 people perish and 4 770 injured. At least 14 327 cases were recorded during the same period last year.
The marginal reduction in the carnage has been attributed to massive awareness campaigns and the rewarding of competent public transport drivers by TSCZ.
TSCZ says a lot still needs to be done to combat road carnage. Speaking during the annual Mashonaland Provincial Driver of the Year competition in Harare on Sunday, TSCZ managing director Mr Obio Chinyere said concerted efforts were needed in promoting road safety.
“The involvement of the private and public sector in road safety programmes cannot be over-emphasised given that research has revealed the age band most at risk is the 26 to 45 group,” he said.
“Private citizens and corporate organisations should join hands with Government agencies to help curb accidents. We need your support in taming the traffic jungle on our roads. “Safety should be everyone’s concern and it would be self-deception to think otherwise.”
Mr Chinyere said it was disheartening to note that an average of five people were killed, while 40 got maimed daily in road traffic accidents around the country.
“Friday nights, Saturdays and festive periods are the worst times,” he said. “It is, therefore, paramount for us to increase our national road safety programmes, hence the importance and significance of the Driver of the Year Competition.”
The provincial event will culminate in a national contest to be held in Mutare later this month, with winners of that event set to represent the country in the bi-annual 2018 World Driving Championships scheduled for Belgium.
The global event was conceived to emphasise on improved safety on the roads. About 90 participants turned up for this year’s provincial driving fiesta, where stakeholders called upon more school and kombi drivers to take part.