Latest News Editor's Choice


News / National

Zimbabwe records road accident every 15 minutes

by Staff reporter
03 Dec 2023 at 10:32hrs | Views
A road accident occurs in Zimbabwe every 15 minutes, with most such incidents attributed to reckless driving, inadequate enforcement of traffic laws and use of defective vehicles, among other factors.

According to the Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe (TSCZ), 14 600 people died and 74 000 were injured in road accidents between 2015 and 2022.

In the first nine months of this year, over 1 500 fatalities were recorded from more than 38 400 accidents countrywide.

In total, over 7 200 people were injured in those road traffic accidents.

TSCZ managing director, Mr Munesu Munodawafa, told The Sunday Mail that most road accidents occured during public holidays.

"It is disturbing that, as of September 30 this year, we had recorded 38 482 road accidents, a total of 1 545 deaths and 7 294 injuries on our roads," he said.

"These numbers are worrisome." Putting that into context, we have a road accident every 15 minutes in Zimbabwe and about five people die while 38 are injured in road accidents every day.

"The highest number of accidents are recorded during major public holidays and days around major public holidays.

"Most of the accidents, particularly those involving light motor vehicles, tend to happen during the early hours of Saturday, around midnight or just before sunrise on Sunday."

Public holidays in Zimbabwe often see an increase in travel levels as people visit families and attend different gatherings.

Studies have also shown that the excitement and festive atmosphere surrounding holidays often lead some drivers to engage in risky behaviour such as speeding, overtaking dangerously and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

The festive season leading up to the Christmas holidays in Zimbabwe generally starts around mid-November and extends until the beginning of January.

Carnage

TSCZ statistics show that there were 45 701 road accidents in 2015, which claimed 2 368 lives and left 12 399 people injured.

The following year, 46 681 accidents were recorded on local roads, resulting in 1 584 deaths and 11 605 injuries.

In 2017, 1 793 people were killed in 46 687 traffic accidents, which also left 10 461 people injured.

The year 2018 was particularly grim, with 58 739 accidents that resulted in 1 918 fatalities and 12 487 injuries.

The following year, there were 45 928 traffic accidents, 1 495 deaths and 8 904 injuries.

In 2020, Zimbabwe recorded 35 560 accidents, 1 520 deaths and 6 920 injuries.

The country registered 45 791 road accidents in 2021, which led to 1 902 deaths and 8 711 injuries.

Last year, 2 067 people were killed in 51 107 incidents of road accidents that also left 10 401 people injured.

Mr Munodawafa said there was an urgent need to impose measures that help curb road carnage.

"The board insists on changing the Traffic Safety Council (of Zimbabwe) to a Traffic Safety Agency — the agency that will be able to enforce arrests of those who infringe road regulations, just like how the Environmental Management Agency operates," he added.

"There is also a need to put speed limits on buses, because the problem with these vehicles is that they sometimes travel at speeds that are as high as 140 kilometres per hour, and most of them will be transporting more than 60 passengers.

"We are working with the Zimbabwe Republic Police, the media and various stakeholders to raise awareness."

Government, he said, also needs to operationalise the Road Accident Fund.

Source - The Sunday Mail