THE Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe (TSCZ) has started lobbying government to impose mandatory custodial sentences to people who drive without licences among other stiffer penalties on errant drivers.
BY VENERANDA LANGA
TSCZ said national statistics showed that 90% of road traffic accidents were caused by human error, and were, therefore, avoidable.
“We shall be making recommendation for the government to review selected traffic penalties to reflect the tragic reality of non-compliance,” TSCZ said.
“Our fines are not deterrent enough as compared to the region. For example, driving a public passenger vehicle without a licence should attract a custodial penalty as is the case in other countries.”
In 2016, government increased road traffic fines in a move to try and curb road accidents, and then Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa in his 2016 National Budget announced that driving without a licence, overtaking over a solid white line, and proceeding against a red robot would attract a fine of $100.
Offences such as failing to signal slow down, stop or turn right or left, cutting corners or turning right, encroaching over white lines at a robot, proceeding against an amber robot and abusive behaviour on the roads now attract a level three fine of $20.
TSCZ said there was also need to give safety considerations precedence in all roadworks, both in rehabilitation and new construction, such as reflective or luminous paint and cat’s eyes as a base standard.
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“Government should pursue the establishment of a Road Accident Fund so that any person injured in a road crash is availed medical attention. They should also explore the prospect of building a ‘Golden Hour’ emergency road rescue service that crash victims will receive assistance within an hour of the crash occurring,” they said.