FIVE more people died in separate road accidents yesterday bringing the death toll to 86 since December 15, while 600 others were injured during the same period, police have said.
As of Sunday, the holiday death toll stood at 81.
National police spokesperson Chief Superintendent Paul Nyathi said there was a 20% increase in road accidents and a 6% increase in fatalities this year compared to the same period last year.
“We impounded 2375 vehicles since December 15 for defects and being unroadworthy and issued out 99 571 tickets for various traffic offences,” Nyathi said.
Police blamed most of the accidents to reckless driving, fatique and the increase in the number of unlicenced young drivers, but some motorists said the poor state of most roads had contributed to the road carnage.
Police roadblock have been mounted along most major highways, but many people have dismissed these as a money spinner through asking for bribes from motorists who might not have licenses or driving unroad worthy vehicles.
Chief Superintendent Nyathi, however, said there has been a significant reduction in the number of people killed after Christmas compared to the same period last year.
“We urge drivers to continue exercising caution. They should avoid speeding and remain alert in order to prevent accidents,” we said.
Police said they will maintain a heavy presence on most public roads to flush out unroadworthy vehicles and reduce the number of accidents ahead of the New Year’s holiday.