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Zimbabwe Still Crafting New Highway Regulations

The Zimbabwe National Roads Authority (ZINARA) says it needs nearly $2 billion to rebuild and maintain the country’s road network. (ZINARA website)

The Zimbabwe Safety Council says it is in the process of working on a new Highway Code to replace the 1979 document that is currently being used in an effort to curb the huge carnage on the country's roads.

Speaking in Chinhoyi on Wednesday at the first New Highway Code public consultation meeting, Zimbabwe Safety Council spokesperson and Product Development and Marketing Manager, Ernest Muchena, said the new code, which is still in a draft form, will go a long way in curbing road accidents.

Muchena said the new code will incorporate other road signs used by southern African countries.

He said, “We decided to come up with a new code to improve on driver tuition so that our drivers are better equipped on the roads. In the new Highway Code we are working on rules and also attitudes of the driver. The code will shape up the old driver and the new driver into becoming a better driver.”

“SADC countries agreed that it will be better to have uniform signage in the region “as we acknowledge the fact that there are a lot of drivers who do inter-country driving. Since Zimbabwe is a signatory, we also accepted that we will adopt the same signage.”

Muchena said the new Highway Code will minimize road accidents if effectively implemented.

The new Highway Code will be translated into the country's local languages. Motorists and the general public who do not drive will be encouraged to own a copy, Muchena said.

Association member, Enirod Kaunda, said his association welcomes the Public Service Vehicle age limit of 30 years saying the carnage on the roads was also fuelled by young drivers who are thrilled by speed.

Muchena said his office does not anticipate any challenges in domesticating SADC regulations.

He warned the public not to buy fake new Highway Codes that have already flooding the market.

The country has been experiencing more road accidents annually due to a number of factors, including poor roads and human error, mainly attributed to negligence and failure to observe road regulations.