Crime Reporter At least 220 people have been killed in 1 850 road traffic accidents that occurred during Easter holidays in the past six years, while 1 447 were injured.
The Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe (TSCZ) released the cumulative figures for the six years yesterday, ahead of the Easter holiday which starts tomorrow. The Easter holiday ends on Monday, but people will enjoy an extended break since Tuesday will be Independence Day.
In the statement yesterday, TSCZ urged motorists and other road users to be careful and abide by all traffic road regulations. According to the statistics, TSCZ said it obtained from the Zimbabwe Republic Police national traffic branch, 16 people died in road traffic accidents during the Easter holiday last year, while 86 others were injured in 232 accidents recorded.
In 2015, 10 people died, while 162 were injured in 283 accidents. During the same period in 2014, 19 people died, while 151 others were injured in 206 accidents recorded. In 2013, 46 people died and 273 others were injured in 424 road traffic accidents, while 2012 recorded 49 deaths, 269 injuries and 208 accidents. During the same period in 2011, TSCZ said 80 people died, while 536 others were injured in 497 road traffic accidents.
“Easter and Independence holidays are upon us,” said TSCZ.
“Be careful on our roads. Avoid speeding, avoid night driving, do not drink and drive. Ensure the safety of your vehicle tyres before any trip. Pedestrians, avoid distracted walking. Drivers stay alert, avoid distracted driving.”
TSCZ urged drivers to stop and rest after every two hours of continuous driving and whenever necessary. Police have said they will heavily deploy to curb road carnage and ensure that sanity prevailed before, during and after the Easter and Independence holidays.
Passengers Association of Zimbabwe (PAZ) president Mr Tafadzwa George Goliati said the Easter holidays were one of the bloodiest in terms of road carnage.
“Passengers Association of Zimbabwe recognises the importance of the Easter and Independence holidays as a time when many people travel to be with their relatives and friends and get to commemorate the death and resurrection of Jesus (for many Christians) and to cherish and celebrate our national independence,” he said.
“However, the Easter holidays are one of the bloodiest in terms of road carnage, whereas road accidents are usually avoidable, given that most are due to human error. In fact, no one has to die from road accidents. As PAZ we proclaim these holidays as holidays when no one should drink and drive and a time when everyone should drive defensively, should stay within the speed limit at all times and avoid distractions.”
Mr Goliati said drivers should obey the rules of the road.