TRANSPORT and Infrastructure Development ministry is mulling an upward review of the minimum age of drivers for public service vehicles to halt the carnage on the roads.
Transport minister Obert Mpofu told stakeholders attending an awareness workshop on problems caused by stray animals on national highways yesterday that most young drivers have no regard for traffic rules.
“I feel 25 years is a very young age to drive a bus full of people,” he said.
“There is clearly need for the government to look at requirements with a view to increase the age of people operating public vehicles.”
Mpofu said consultations would establish whether there was need to review legislation governing public transport drivers.
Statistics from the Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe (TSCZ) showed that the 25 to 45-year age group was mostly affected by accidents. Data also showed that the 26 to 34-year category was liable to 57 fatalities during the festive season last year.
TSCZ managing director Obio Chinyere said the high accident rate on national roads was a cause for concern as in most cases accidents were caused by human error.
“Everyday an average of five people perish on our roads and that figure is alarming,” Chinyere said.
He said human error constituted the bulk of causes of accidents.
“Unless we change that attitude it will be very hard to bring our accidents down,” he said.
Chinyere said stray animals were another major contributor to accidents on national highways. Mpofu said the government had made it mandatory for all A2 farmers along highways to put up fences at their own expense to prevent straying of animals onto roads.
He said the government will “fence those areas where the A1 and communal farmers are along the highways because they do not have the capacity to do so on their own”.
Mpofu said established patrols would be set up to remove stray animals from roads.
Yesterday’s workshop brought together police, officials from the Transport and Agriculture Mechanisation and Engineering ministries, traditional leaders and transport operators.