Zimbabwe: 87 Killed in Festive Season Traffic Accidents

AT least 87 people have died while 424 others were injured in 1 194 road accidents that were recorded countrywide between December 15 and 26.

Of the 1 194 road accidents, 60 were fatal.

During the same period last year, 102 people were killed while 289 others were injured in 1 480 accidents recorded countrywide. Of the accidents recorded, 71 of them were fatal.

National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said drivers should adhere to road rules and safe driving practices to reduce the yearly increase in traffic accidents and pedestrian fatalities during the festive season.

“The period under review encompasses Unity Day, Christmas Day and Boxing Day. On Unity Day, 125 road traffic accidents were recorded countrywide of which five were fatal while 24 others were injured as compared to 124 road traffic accidents with two fatalities, two deaths and 18 people injured in the year 2022.

“On Christmas Day, 25th December 2023, 71 road traffic accidents were recorded countrywide of which seven were fatal, killing eight people and injuring 78 people. In the same period in 2022, 133 road traffic accidents were recorded with 12 were fatal, 20 deaths and 48 people injured,” he said.

He said on Boxing Day this year, 82 road traffic accidents were recorded countrywide in which nine people were killed in nine fatal road traffic accidents while 36 others were injured.

In 2022, at least 99 road traffic accidents were recorded in which eight people were killed, while 32 others were injured.

“Most of the road traffic accidents occurred on highways as a result of speeding, inattention, overtaking errors, overloading, misjudgement, following too close and recklessness on the part of drivers,” Asst Comm Nyathi said.

Meanwhile, police have confirmed a fatal road traffic accident which occurred at the 64 kilometre peg along Harare-Mutare Road near Diggleford Primary School turn-off in Marondera yesterday at 9.40am.

Five people died on the spot, with some being trapped, when a Blue Horizon bus which was travelling towards Marondera, had a collision with a haulage truck and a Mercedes Benz which were travelling in the opposite direction.

“40 passengers were injured, 15 of them seriously, due to the accident. There are currently receiving medical attention at Marondera Provincial Hospital. More details will be released in due course.

“The Zimbabwe Republic Police urges drivers to be cautious and promote road safety on the roads this holiday. We remind drivers that road safety is a collective responsibility which needs the cooperation of all motorists, family vehicles, public service vehicles and haulage truck operators, among others,” Asst Comm Nyathi said.

Government has since said during this holiday season, drivers should adhere to road rules and safe driving practices in order to reduce road traffic accidents and pedestrian fatalities.

In a joint statement, the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development and the Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe provided drivers with road safety advice for holiday season.

“This year, a lot of the work is focused on prevention to make sure that everyone drives safely. As such, drivers will constantly receive advice on how to drive safely and be watched, even though enforcement is a necessary part of the process. It’s the rainy season, so drivers should exercise extra caution as the rain reduces visibility, makes the roads slick, and increases the risk of vehicles being washed away by flooded rivers.

“Driving while intoxicated, operating a vehicle with worn-out or defective tires, operating a vehicle with illegally added headlights, overloading, speeding, ignoring traffic signs, getting angry on the road, trying to cross flooded bridges and rivers even with an empty bus, and driving under the influence of alcohol are all prohibited,” reads the statement.

In the same light drivers have been advised to also carry their drivers’ licences, avoid traveling at night, to make sure their vehicle is in a road worthy condition before departure.

All lights and indicators, windscreens wipers, brakes, steering, shock absorbers, exhaust system and tyres should be carefully examined for faults.

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