Thandeka Moyo-Ndlovu, Chronicle Reporter
THE number of people who died over the Independence and Easter Holidays this year has risen to 30 from 17 last year while 321 accidents have been recorded compared to 299 during the same period.
Six people died on Independence Day while 24 perished during the Easter Holiday which ended yesterday.
In a statement, acting national police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said:
“The Zimbabwe Republic Police confirms that 96 road traffic accidents were recorded on Independence Day.
“Meanwhile, the cumulative road traffic accidents statistics recorded during the period from April 18-22 stands at 321”.
He said overtaking errors resulting in head on collisions and side swipes continue to claim lives on the roads.
“A Nissan caravan with 22 passengers on board – members of the Apostolic Church who were coming from a church service in Basil Bridge, Marange – collided with a Honda fit which had four occupants along the Harare/Mutare road. Preliminary investigations have established that the Honda Fit was heading towards Mutare while the Nissan Caravan was travelling in the opposite direction,” Asst Comm Nyathi said.
“On approaching the 118 km peg, the driver of the Honda Fit encroached into the lane of the oncoming Nissan caravan while intending to overtake another vehicle resulting in a head on collision.
“Four Honda occupants died on the spot while the Nissan caravan overturned and landed on its roof killing seven people on the spot and the rest were seriously injured and referred to Marondera Hospital for treatment.”
He said the bodies of the deceased were taken to Rusape District Hospital for post mortem.
“We urge motorists to exercise extreme caution while driving and to ensure that the road is clear ahead before attempting to overtake. Where possible motorists are encouraged to travel during the day as visibility at night is poor. Public service vehicles should not overload passengers even when they are hired to carry church passengers. Above all, they should not speed and have a mindset of promoting safety on the roads,” Asst Comm Nyathi said.
Meanwhile, police have warned cross border buses and other drivers who tow trailers laden with luggage that the law will be applied without fear or favour.
“Some of the buses are moving with insecure trailers where safety chains are loose and normally hook off from the bus and cause danger to other motorists. Cross border bus operators are implored to take the warning seriously and comply with the provisions of the Road Traffic Act, Chapter 13:11 and Road Motor Transportation Act Chapter 13: 15,” Asst Comm Nyathi said.