BY METHEMBE SIBANDA
THE Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe (TSCZ) yesterday urged motorists to exercise cautious during the Easter and Independence holidays, which have in the past recorded very high numbers of road fatalities.
Speaking at the launch of the Easter Holidays and Independence Day celebrations road safety campaigns in Harare yesterday, TSCZ chairperson Kura Sibanda said in 2021, despite the COVID-19 lockdown period and strict travel restrictions, 459 road crashes were recorded, while 37 people lost their lives and 116 were injured during the Easter holidays.
“It is important for us to take note that the majority of fatal crashes occur during Friday and Saturday nights and more than 70% of the hit and runs also happen at night,” Sibanda said.
“It is truly tragic that the majority of those whose lives are lost during the Easter and Independence periods are the youth between the ages of 20 and 34. In Zimbabwe, the four-day Easter weekend is a period (during which) on average we lose no less than 20 lives each year, while during the two-day Independence Day celebrations we lose no less than 10 lives.”
He said some of the contributory factors to road fatalities included alcohol abuse by both drivers and pedestrians, speeding, use of cell phones while driving, dangerous overtaking, vehicle fitness defects, pedestrian negligence, fatigue, stray animals and overloading.
National operational manager for Ace Ambulance Services (air and road) Shingisayi Chibvongodze attributed road accident deaths to delays in ambulance arrivals at the accident scenes and late reports of emergences.