150 people die monthly from traffic accidents

Flora Fadzai Sibanda, [email protected]

A ROAD accident occurs in Zimbabwe every 15 minutes, with at least 150 people dying every month, and most such incidents are attributed to reckless driving, inadequate enforcement of traffic laws and use of defective vehicles, among other factors.

This emerged during a recent stakeholders’ meeting organised by the Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe (TSCZ) in Bulawayo.

According to TSCZ, last year the country recorded 2 099 deaths and 9 955 injuries from 51 994 accidents recorded across the country. Most road accidents occurred during public holidays. 

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 behaviours such as speeding, overtaking dangerously and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

TSCZ managing director, Mr Munesu Munodawafa, said from their statistics, accident-related deaths involved victims aged between 25 and 45.

“We recorded 51 994 accidents in 2023 and from those 9 955 people were injured and 2 099 killed. This is a worrisome number because it means every month at least 150 people are being killed in road accidents which occur every 15 minutes,” he said.

“This is of great concern because this is problematic for the country’s economy. Most of these accidents are caused by drinking and driving, texting and driving, and speeding that our drivers do on the road.”

Mr Munodawafa said TSCZ is working tirelessly with other stakeholders such as the police, and the media, among others to raise awareness.

“What is even more worrying is that of those dying from accidents, a majority of them are people aged between 25 and 45. We conduct road awareness campaigns, especially during holidays, as a way of educating our drivers to help reduce these road accidents,” he said. 

Mr Munodawafa said there is also a need for the Government to operationalise the Road Accident Fund. 

The TSCZ board is also insisting on changing the name to Traffic Safety Agency, which will be able to enforce arrests of those who infringe road regulations, just like how the Environmental Management Agency operates.

The meeting, which was attended by chief executive officers drawn from various transport companies, officials from the Vehicle Inspectorate Department (VID), Bulawayo City Council, and small businesses, was aimed at sharing ideas on curbing accidents. — @flora_sibanda


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