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Calls grow louder for bus speed limiters

Local News
This week, an Inter Africa bus travelling from Chiredzi to Harare overturned leaving 55 passengers injured near Gumbo Service Centre in Zaka.

CALLS for the installation of speed limiting devices on buses have grown louder amid rising cases of road traffic accidents mainly caused by human error.

This week, an Inter Africa bus travelling from Chiredzi to Harare overturned leaving 55 passengers injured near Gumbo Service Centre in Zaka.

Passengers Association of Zimbabwe president Tafadzwa Goliati told NewsDay Weekender that there was a need for proactive measures to enhance safety of passengers.

“This Easter holiday, drivers need to do some introspection before embarking on highway trips,” he said.

“It is also high time the government enforces the use of speed limiters. What we are seeing on the roads is crazy.

“Buses are busy competing, doing speed racing. Some of these buses are not properly serviced; some do not even have brakes at all. The worst part of it is that some of these drivers would be drunk.”

According to the latest Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency report, 552 people died in road traffic accidents in the last quarter of 2023, while 2 663 people were injured, representing a 7,9% increase in traffic accidents.

“We wish the government could capacitate police with breathalysers, speed limiters. Moreover, the bus companies should make sure that each bus has two drivers, so that they give each other time to rest during the course of the journey. Some of these accidents are caused by fatigue,” Goliati said.

He said government should revoke licences of drivers who flout road safety laws.

“There is another accident that happened at Willowvale and Machipisa roads (in Harare) on Thursday night, where a kombi was involved in a head-on accident with another vehicle. Passengers were injured after the kombi they were travelling in was involved in the accident while in the wrong lane.

“They should cancel drivers’ licences for those who are stubborn in the road; we urge the government to terminate or revoke the licences,” he said.

According to police, Zimbabwean bus operators are losing an average of 300 buses per year due to accidents and reckless driving.

Police said the number of road accidents in the country has increased by 1%, despite a target of reducing accidents by 25% every year.

The bus operators have been long accused of reckless driving and contributing to a high accident rate.

Last year, the Transport and Infrastructure Development ministry imposed new regulations on bus operators to fit their vehicles with speed limiters, or at least maintain continuous tracking, to stop drivers from surpassing the 100km/h speed limit.

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