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Zimbabwe Road Accidents Few in 2013 Festive Season

Zimbabwe has this festive season recorded far less accidents than previous years and Road Traffic Council officials are attributing this to safety campaigns they have been championing as the major reason for the reduction of accidents on the country's major roads.

According to the Zimbabwe Republic Police, 64 people have been killed and 311 injured in 738 road accidents since the start of the festive season on December 15 this year.

During the same period last year, 123 people had been killed and 599 injured in 793 recorded accidents. The police also impounded 997 vehicles for various defects and issued 67,821 tickets to motorists for various traffic offences.

Mashonaland West Senior Road Traffic Council Officer, Edward Tapfumaneyi, says the move to educate motorists to observe road safety regulations and others targeting passengers to wait at designated pick-up points had a bearing on the reduction of accidents this Christmas holiday.

Tapfumaneyi says too much excitement on holidays, drunken driving and overspeeding have all contributed to the carnage on the country's roads in the past.

He says the Road Traffic Safety Board has seen that people using public transport are also partly to blame for some accidents as they normally flag down vehicles and wait at points that are not designated as pick-up points.

The public has welcomed the campaign calling on travelers to use designated pick-up points, saying this will also reduce congestion at some places where thieves have been taking advantage of the situation to terrorize them.

But some say the reduction of accidents this Christmas holiday had nothing to do with the campaign as very few people managed to travel because of the cash crunch in the country.

Some commuter bus drivers say loading at designated pick-points sometimes slows down their business as people are used to being picked up anywhere along the road, though it is illegal.