TRANSPORT minister Obert Mpofu has indicated that the government is mulling reviewing upwards the minimum age of public transport drivers to curb the ever rising carnage on the roads.
The current age limit for public transport drivers is 25 years and the minister feels it is a very young age.
Zimbabwe has one the highest accident rates in the world. The factors that contribute to that blood letting are multifaceted and cannot be limited to lack of maturity by drivers.
On average five people die on the country’s roads and that figure is highly unacceptable.
A number of accidents are attributed to human error, but the state of the country’s roads has become an area of concern for motorists.
The government acknowledges that a number of accidents on the country’s highways are being caused by stray domestic animals.
This is a new phenomenon that has links to the land reform programme that saw the so-called new farmers want only pulling down fences on the pieces of land they were allocated along highways.
The government conveniently gave a blind eye to the vandalism that went on for years unchecked. Hundreds of lives have been lost needlessly in accidents caused by stray cattle along the highways.
Mpofu said the government would make it mandatory for A2 farmers along the highways to fence their properties off at their own expense.
He said the government will also help communal farmers to put up fences in farming areas along the highways. Such an approach is highly commendable and the government should move with speed to ensure that it does not just remain on paper.
However, there are many other areas that the government needs to pay attention to in order to reduce the road carnage. This includes the speeding up of the rehabilitation of road infrastructure which has been neglected for decades.
There also is the proliferation of vehicles that are not roadworthy at a time police have intensified their presence on the roads. The government should deal with corruption in its agencies such as the police and the Vehicle Inspection Department to arrest the madness on the roads.
Age limits are a very peripheral issue in the matrix of things.