BY VENERANDA LANGA
TRANSPORT minister Joel Matiza says there will be a 24-hour traffic blitz by the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) and the Vehicle Inspection Department (VID) to minimise road carnage during the holidays.
Matiza said this on Wednesday last week in the National Assembly after Magunje MP Cecil Kashiri (Zanu PF) asked him to explain to Parliament the measures that his ministry will take to curb road carnage during the festive season and to ensure that traffic laws are observed.
Last year 122 road accidents were recorded during the festive season.
“There will be a 24-hour traffic blitz involving enforcement agencies such as the ZRP and VID a week before and during the festive season,” Matiza said.
“The enforcement agencies will be checking on vehicle road worthiness, drivers’ licences and driver behaviour to ensure that drivers observe all the traffic laws and those found on the wrong side of the law will be prosecuted, while vehicles found to be unroadworthy will be impounded,” he said.
Matiza said the Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe, in conjunction with ZRP, has deployed 20 educational road-block campaign teams across the country’s major highways since December 15, 2019.
“The Road Safety Campaign will end on January 5, 2020. This intensified road safety campaign along the major highways is aiming to encourage motorists to reduce speed and to drive with due care and attention so as to reduce carnage during the Christmas and New Year’s holiday. They will also be encouraging drivers not to drink and drive. Drivers are also expected to take breaks and/or rest so that they do not drive continuously for more than eight hours,” he said.
Matiza also told Parliament that the country does not have enough breathalysers to test driver’s alcohol intake.
“We do not have enough breathalysers in the country due to foreign currency shortages, but alternative measures will be taken by the police to make sure that the drivers do not drive while they are drunk through educational campaigns,” he said.
Asked to explain how his ministry will deal with motorists who break traffic rules Matiza said: “My ministry is cognisant of the fact that there is rampant recklessness in driving with our local drivers. We have put in place mechanisms that will make sure that this will come to an end. We will start with the driver training schools. There are programmes that are there to make sure they meet the standards that are required for them to be operating and that they have qualified staff.”
On dilapidated roads, Matiza said his ministry was ensuring that roads are continuously repaired during the rainy season.