BY Farai Matiashe
Transport minister Joel Biggie Matiza yesterday launched the electronic learner’s licence testing system (ELLT), which is aimed at reducing corruption in awarding of licences by the Vehicle Inspection Department (VID) and, in turn, reduce road carnage.
The ELLT was developed under the Zimbabwe Integrated Transport Management Information System (ZIMTIS) project, which is a public-private-partnership initiative between the government and Southern Regional Trading Company.
Addressing delegates at the launch in Harare, Matiza said the ministry’s endeavour was to reduce traffic accidents by more than 10% annually.
“The system is also aimed at fostering efficiency, eliminating corruption. Most importantly, the implementation of the project will enhance road safety and contribute towards
reduction of road carnages,” he said.
He said effective driver training and testing was a cornerstone of the ministry’s strategy to reduce road carnage.
“Likewise reducing incidences of rampant corruption in the acquisition of provisional driver’s licences and driver licenses is integral to the proactive strategy. As will be observed, the ELLT system resonates well with the Sadc region’s endeavour to harmonise and standardise driver and testing requirements within the region,” he said.
Matiza further noted that the ELLT system was designed to remove the human element in the assessment of the competence of prospective drivers by eliminating corruption.
“Our country cannot afford to continue to lose lives by putting unqualified people, who would have acquired provisional drivers’ licences fraudulently hence exposing, in perpetuity, countless lives to a great risk,” he said.
Speaking at the same event, director of transport management and development in the Transport ministry, Johannes Pedzapasi said the project would offer solutions to some of the
problems faced in the issuance of provisional driver’s licences.
“Research has shown that most accidents that happen in the country happen at night and it is mainly due to poor eyesight. This ELLT system will first test the eyesight of the applicant,” he said.
Pedzapasi said the system used biometric technology which would capture fingerprints and pictures of the applicant to curb fraud.
Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe managing director Obio Chinyere told NewsDay that the ELLT was going to restore trust in citizens on how the VID issued driver’s licences.
“It will bring back confidence; to say whoever has a licence has got it through the right channels. We have seen so many people who we sometimes question where they got their
licences from the way they drive, the way they enter red robots. So, this new system will help bring back the confidence,” he said.
Global statistics showed that on average 1,3 million people die each year on the world’s roads while five people die on Zimbabwe’s roads daily and between 20 and 50 million sustain non-fatal injuries globally.
A World Health Organisation research shows that 90% of road crashes are caused by human error.