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Bloody Easter claims 73

by Staff reporter
21 Apr 2022 at 11:29hrs | Views
SEVENTY-THREE people were killed and 202 injured in 264 road traffic accidents recorded countrywide during this year's Easter and Independence Holidays.

The 73 deaths were concentrated in 32 of the 264 accidents.

According to police statistics, during the same period last year, 24 people died and 117 others were injured in 401 road accidents recorded, with 22 of them being fatal.

So although there were fewer accidents during the holidays this year, the number of fatal accidents was greater and the death toll was three times higher, largely because of public transport                                                               crashes.

National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said comprehensive analysis has revealed that most of the accidents are attributed to human error which includes speeding, inattention, overtaking error, and failure to observe road rules and regulations.

"Most serious accidents occurred during the night where most travellers were observed to be moving in large numbers, ignoring safety measures and overloaded vehicles especially those who intended to go to public gatherings for Easter commemorations.

"It is sad that the country recorded an increase in the number of people who died in accidents and number of people injured during the Easter and Independence holidays.

"There is need for motorists and stakeholders to have a total change of mindset when it comes to road safety during holidays," he said.

The worst accident, with 38 deaths, occurred at the 5km peg along Jopa-Skyline Road in Chimanimani involving a Charles Luwanga School bus.

He said another accident that occurred at the 40km peg along Makuti-Kariba Road involving a Nissan UD 70 truck claimed five lives while the accident at the 38km peg along Nyanga-Rwenya Road involving a Nissan Caravan vehicle claimed four lives.

"Two people also died when a Stallion Bus had a side swipe with a haulage truck at the 180km peg along Bulawayo-Victoria Falls Road. Other deaths occurred in road traffic accidents recorded throughout the country.

"The ZRP, however, implores all motorists to be responsible on the roads and lead by example when it comes to road safety.

"Churches are urged to allow Easter gatherings to be held in local settings to curtail accidents due to long distance travelling and fatigue," Asst Comm Nyathi said.

And the accidents are continuing after the break. Four Zimra employees died while 18 others were injured after a bus they were travelling in was involved in an accident along the Beitbridge Highway on Tuesday around 6pm.

At least 11 others employees escaped unhurt

The bus was travelling from Beitbridge to Harare carrying staffers that were on holiday relief duties at the border during the Easter and Independence holidays.

In a statement yesterday, Zimra head corporate communications Mr Francis Chimanda said the authority was working with the relevant authorities to assist affected staff members.

"It is with a heavy heart that the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority wishes to confirm that a Zimra bus carrying members of staff coming from Beitbridge to Harare was yesterday, Tuesday 19 April 2022, involved in a road accident near Corona Shops along the Masvingo Road, approximately 90km from Harare.

"Details of what transpired are not yet clear at this point as investigations and inquiries are ongoing." More details will be given once they have confirmed with the pertinent authorities.

"Our deepest condolences go out to the families of those who have passed on and our prayers and best wishes are with those still receiving medical attention," said Mr Chimanda.

Last week, police Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga urged motorists and other road users to exercise caution when travelling on the roads to avoid fatal accidents.

Government recently called on the motoring public to exercise caution and adhere to stipulated traffic laws and warned operators of public service vehicles and private motorists against using defective and unroadworthy vehicles during the Easter and Independence holiday period, although once again as is normal it was bad driving not bad vehicles that caused the accidents and deaths.

In a statement before the weekend, Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Felix Mhona said public transport operators should desist from the habit of over-working their drivers which results in fatigue. Drivers should stick to regulated speed limits as speeding is one of the major causes of fatal road accidents.

"Driving under the influence of alcohol is also a punishable offence and is totally unacceptable," he said.

The minister said as part of efforts to prevent road traffic related deaths and injuries, police and VID were going to be participate in joint enforcement operations throughout the holiday period.

The Greater Harare Association of Commuter Omnibus Operators secretary-general Mr Ngoni Katsvairo also urged drivers to avoid speeding and overloading. He wants to see speed traps back and for drivers to avoid night driving.

Source - the herald
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