IT could be too early to celebrate as the festive season is still far from over, but indications that this holiday has recorded fewer road accidents should be commended.
According to statistics released by the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) on Christmas Day, 56 people had been killed and 293 injured in 681 road accidents.
Last year, 109 people had been killed and 546 others injured in 712 accidents during the same period.
While the target should be zero fatalities and no road accidents during such holidays, the massive reduction in people needlessly dying on the roads during the festive season cannot go unnoticed.
Zimbabwe has one of the highest accident rates in Africa or in the world despite the few number of people who own cars compared to other countries.
Accidents are mainly caused by human error, faulty vehicles and people driving under the influence of alcohol.
The ZRP should be commended for maintaining a heavy presence on the roads during the holidays.
Once the authorities effectively deal with corruption within their ranks, such kind of policing would go a long way in curbing the carnage on the roads.
We urge those who are yet to travel to continue to exercise caution on the roads so that this impressive start to the holidays is maintained.
Transporters are also urged to put their customers’ safety ahead of profits by ensuring that their drivers get enough rest and are not put under pressure to achieve unreasonable targets.
Public transporters should also avoid overloading their vehicles.
They should also adhere to regulations to employ only qualified drivers who among other requirements, have more than five years’ experience and are aged above 25.
The government should be recommended for the improvement on the Bulawayo–Harare and Plumtree–Bulawayo highways as this has without doubt contributed to the reduction in the number of accidents.
This makes the case for accelerated government spending to improve the country’s road network.