WHILE the onset of the rains bring welcome relief to farmers and the country in general amid fears of a below normal rainfall season, the public must be quick to realise the danger this also brings to travellers.
As is the norm, many will be travelling across the country and beyond for the Christmas and New Year’s holidays and if the bloodletting on our roads last month is anything to go by, a lot needs to be done to curtail the carnage.
The country’s roads are already a deathtrap and the onset of the rains makes them even more dangerous. The push for profit must never be the driving factor in the public transport industry. Calls for a more reliable and safe transport system should be explored extensively with a view to finding better ways of creating a more sustainable way.
Our plea to public transport operators and authorities is to make sure passengers are uppermost in their minds in whatever they do.
The return of police roadblocks should be used not to fleece the motorists but to ease congestion and create a safe environment for travellers. History does not favour ordinary people and the hope is that Home Affairs minister Cain Mathema and his team really know what is expected of them this coming festive season. Mathema has not said anything about his plans relating to the police return on our roads. Prior to Operation Restore Legacy, police had turned into a rogue unit that cared less about the public. The police traffic division had turned itself into a money-making venture rather than a public safety intervention.
Police have a propensity of abusing the public but for now we hope there are restraining mechanisms to make sure the sprouting roadblocks do not turn our national trunk roads into even more dangerous places this festive season.
We need a safe and enjoyable festive season and with the country deep in an economic crisis, only a bloodless holiday will to a great extent ameliorate the people’s anxieties and suffering.
Public transport operators must also make sure the buses they put onto the roads are safe and roadworthy. The Vehicle Inspection Department, another haven for corruption and nefarious activities, must also come to the party but not as an instrument for public harassment. It is our hope that stakeholders will work together for the good of travellers. We will not talk about the fuel problems but only plead for more reasonable fares that do not border on profiteering.