The Zimbabwe Republic Police have among other responsibilities the mandate to maintain law and order as well as protect life and property. It is also the duty of the police to ensure that there is sanity on our roads. In its bid to tame the traffic jungle, the police often mount roadblocks in cities and towns as well as the highways.
Statistics over the years have shown that 80 percent of the road traffic accidents are as a result of human error which means they can be avoided. It is these accidents that the police are fighting to reduce by ensuring that motorists adhere to traffic rules and regulations.
Our roads have become death traps mainly because of reckless drivers that make other road users dread to be on the roads. It is because of this obtaining reality that we welcome the presence of traffic police on our roads. What is worrying is that the major culprits when it comes to violating the traffic rules and regulations are drivers of kombis and pirate taxis who unfortunately seem not to appreciate that their actions put the lives of the commuting public at risk.
We however want to implore the traffic police to ensure that whatever policing measures they put in place, the safety of the commuting public comes first.
The issue of throwing spikes especially at a public service vehicle like a kombi should be banned because it can cause an accident leading to deaths of innocent passengers.
We know that there are defiant kombi drivers who ignore police orders but throwing spikes at vehicles driven by such drivers is not the solution.
Government has repeatedly said police are not allowed to throw spikes especially at public service vehicles but on the ground the police continue to use this dangerous method to force kombi drivers to comply with their orders.
The latest incident happened in Bulawayo on Monday when a female police officer allegedly threw spikes to stop a kombi in the Central Business District.
Anti- riot police had to be called after commuters threatened to assault the officer they accused of endangering their lives.
We do not condone actions of drivers that defy police orders but we infact want such drivers punished. The police must find ways of following up on drivers that refuse to stop at roadblocks as opposed to using spikes to stop them. What is pleasing is that operators of public service vehicles have pledged their commitment to assist the police to track down problematic drivers so that they are punished.
Those police officers who continue to use dangerous methods of enforcing the law should also be punished. We want to once again call on the police to ensure the commuting public’s safety always comes first in whatever they do