12 killed, 63 injured in road traffic accidents on Christmas Day

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TWELVE people were killed, while 63 others were injured in 122 road traffic accidents recorded countrywide on Christmas Day, a slight increase rise from last year.

All the accidents were attributed to human error although police could not give details of where the accidents occurred.

Last year, nine people died and 42 others were injured in 89 road traffic accidents on Christmas Day.

In a statement, national police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said the figures show an increase in fatal road accidents.

He attributed most of the accidents to human error.

“The major causes of these fatal road traffic accidents were speeding, inattention, misjudgment, reversing errors and failure to observe road rules and regulations,” said Asst Comm Nyathi.

“We urge drivers to travel at safe speeds and consider the condition of the road and safety of other road users. Drivers should desist from taking drugs and alcohol when driving. Pedestrians are also urged to be observant when crossing any road and should check either side to ensure it is safe to cross before doing so,” he said.

Over the weekend, Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Joel Biggie Matiza said Government would cancel route permits for transport operators whose drivers were routinely caught flouting road traffic laws and has deployed police and Vehicle Inspection Department (VID) officers to try and reduce traffic accidents this festive season.

Minister Matiza said police would be out in full force to rid the roads of defective vehicles and warned against drunk driving and overloading of buses, all of them major causes of traffic accidents on the nation’s highways.

The minister said transport operators should not overwork their drivers as that leads to fatigue.

He said driving under the influence of alcohol was a punishable offence.

Minister Matiza said proper red reflective triangles should always be used in the case of a breakdown to increase visibility. He said those who failed to adhere to this requirement would be dealt with in terms of the Road Traffic Act and Road Motor Transportation Act.

The country has experienced several fatal traffic accidents involving public transport in the past few months.

Most of the accidents have been attributed to human error and mechanical faults, notably the Rusape bus disaster in which 46 people were killed when Bolt Cutter and Smart Express buses side-swapped at the 166-kilometre peg on Harare-Mutare highway in late October.

— Herald


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