ZIMBABWE had by Wednesday recorded 19 festive season road traffic accident deaths. This is a very worrying start to the Christmas and New Year holidays and motorists must therefore exercise extreme caution on our roads.
The country cannot afford to continue losing lives in road accidents which can be avoided if drivers observe traffic rules and regulations.
Today is the last day for people to travel to their different destinations for the Christmas festivities. Many Zimbabweans working in the cities and towns as well as those working in neighbouring countries like South Africa, Botswana and Namibia visit their families during the Christmas and New Year holidays.
Some families take the opportunity to enjoy themselves at holiday resorts such as Victoria Falls, the Eastern Highlands and other such tourist destinations.
There is a lot of excitement during the festive season as some families will be meeting after several years.
This is the first Christmas since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic that many countries including Zimbabwe, are enjoying without the Covid-19 restrictions hence the increased number of travellers.
What is worrying is the increase in fatal road accidents since the start of the festive season and as already stated, it is the responsibility of motorists to stop this carnage on our roads.
The police on their part should ensure sanity prevails on our roads. The major causes of accidents are drunken driving, speeding, reckless driving, fatigue, overloading and use of defective vehicles.
We have said in the past that while the police would do their best to ensure motorists observe traffic rules and regulations, it is impossible for them to police every inch of the road so the onus is on the travelling public to help police in their work.
Passengers on both public and private vehicles should ensure drivers observe the rules of the road. Passengers should not allow drivers of both public and private vehicles to put their lives at risk through speeding, drunken driving or reckless driving.
Those that want to drink on the road should not be behind the wheel and what is advisable is for individuals to only drink after arriving at their respective destinations. We do not want accidents to spoil our Christmas celebrations as has happened in the past.
Those who decide to drive while drunk should not only be stopped from driving but should be locked up and released after the festivities.
Bus companies should ensure drivers are not overworked to avoid fatigue. Fatigue has been blamed for most of the bus accidents that occur during public holidays.
There is a need for police to tame the traffic jungle by strictly enforcing traffic rules and regulations. It has been established that more than 80 percent of the road accidents are as a result of human error which means they can be avoided.
We want to once again implore motorists, passengers and the police to join hands in ensuring an accident-free Christmas and New Year holidays.