A few weeks back we discussed Police Visibility and attempted to help each other appreciate how we can make good use of the increased police presence in our neighbourhood for the purpose of Crime Prevention and reducing fear of crime. This week we look at how we can make use of our roads more convenient for all of us. A notable feature of our traffic situation in Mutare is the almost impassable roads especially during peak or rush hours. This has caused a lot of inconveniences for everyone and at worst put people’s lives at risk. To begin with let us appreciate that the traffic situation obtaining at the moment is a result of the under listed factors.

Unprecedented increase in the volume of traffic as many people buy cars.

Road transport infra-structure which has become overwhelmed.

Irresponsible behaviour by road users especially motorists particularly kombi drivers whose aggressive behaviour sometimes puts many people at risk.

Kombis and other Non-Public Service vehicles (Mushika-shika) which are often seen creating their own termini next to intersections or even picking passengers right from the middle of the road. Examples are down-town in Mutare CBD, Mega Watt, Sakubva round-about and robot next to swimming pool in Sakubva. The resultant effect has been the creation of bottle necks on the roads due to reduced road width.

Motorists disregarding the importance of sticking to their lanes when this is absolutely necessary especially during peak hours. Some have even been observed to drive on opposite lanes resulting in jams, slowing down of traffic and accidents.

Keeping broken down vehicles blocking the road for long periods at places of such breakdown.

The above scenario has greatly inconvenienced many people going about their daily business.

Easing of congestion and traffic jam requires all road users to exercise patience, caution and a great sense of responsibility. It is good to practise safe driving habits through adopting the following:-

Be very patient even if you are hard pressed for time.

Be tolerant of bad driving conduct or irresponsible behaviour by other road users.

Pedestrian and passenger traffic should stick to the places designated for their own use on the roads. It is clear that vehicular traffic especially passenger-carrying follow passenger traffic when it should be the other way round.

Plan your journeys well by travelling in time and even combining the journeys where two or more people with same destination can use one vehicle at a time in turns.

The ZRP has introduced a Traffic De-congestion Team that is seen in orange suits at intersections and other crossing points especially during the peak hours. Be on the lookout for them and co-operate with them as their duty is to de-congest the roads. You may need to know that their duty is not to duplicate the functions of the robot but to help increase traffic movement by limiting the time vehicles stay at the junction.

Give a helping hand to troubled motorists or other road users. We commend the co-operation that has been seen during accidents but we certainly desire that the need for such co-operation should never come to pass as we continue to strive for accident and incident free roads.

Inserted by: ZRP Manicaland Press and Public Relations