THE Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe (TSCZ) has recommended a ban on the importation of secondhand tyres blaming them for contributing to the sudden rise in road traffic accidents.
SENIOR PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER
TSCZ managing director Obio Chinyere made the recommendations yesterday when he appeared before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Transport and Communication.
Chinyere presented a raft of measures aimed at taming the traffic jungle, among them imposition of heavy penalties on traffic offenders and owners of domestic animals that often strayed into main roads.
He said statistics compiled by his council had proved that 94% of traffic accidents were caused by human error, 5% by vehicle defects and 1% by unfavourable road environment including the issue of stray domestic animals like cattle.
According to Chinyere, last year recorded 37 619 accidents causing 1 787 deaths and 14 131 people were injuries. He said this was a slight drop from the 2012 figures where 2 094 people died and 14 965 were injured out of 30 911 reported accidents.
He said an average of five people died daily from traffic accidents.
“There should be strict legislation on importation of second -hand tyres because these have expiry dates, but in Zimbabwe they are imported even if they have long reached their lifespan,” Chinyere said.
“We also want a situation whereby people who let their animals loose on the roads are severely punished by impounding those stray cattle and heavy penalties charged, while those animals should be auctioned.”
He said the council was in the process of crafting a new syllabus for driving lessons together with other stakeholders that will include night driving, adding they will soon announce a traffic safety policy that will clearly stipulate responsibilities of different departments involved in traffic issues.
“The main causes of road accidents in Zimbabwe are human factors like over-speeding, drunken driving, indiscipline and impatience by drivers, very low fines for road offences, non-removal of broken down vehicles along roads for a long time, total disregard of road regulations, fatigue by drivers, expired tyres, red-light jumping, driving without licences, as well as stray animals on roads,” Chinyere said.