Carnage on Zimbabwe’s Roads: Time to Act

The statistics for road traffic accidents are getting worse. I don’t have figures on hand but every other day I am coming across serious accidents in Harare.

Just last week I lost a friend to drunken driving. And the person who hit into her was the drunk one. He ran an intersection on a main road.

On Friday I came across two accidents and in the second 3 people died on the scene. I later heard that another one had died in hospital.

It is getting worse. And how many of us can speak of countless times we were almost in an accident.

In all of this, one thing for sure is that things can’t go on this way. Lives are being wasted because the systems in place do not sufficiently protect people.

To start off with the penalties are hopeless. Just the other day a minister’s son got away with a slap on the wrist for taking two young lives. So given that scenario who is going to take an accident seriously?

And guess what? That same person will be on the street, driving a few weeks from now. Of course there are instances in which a license may be revoked. But there are no penalties in place that force people to be extra people.

Then there is the fact that people drive all types of ramshackle vehicles and when push comes to shove, they just don’t cut it. Legislation is i place which requires cars to maintain a certain standard to be classified as roadworthy but sometimes they are not fully enforced.

And it is easy to blame the police but they have so few resources to work with a lot slips through the cracks. And when we talk about what they get paid too. It’s easy to judge him for taking a bribe but if you were offered a month or two’s salary to be negligent, and you were broke as hell, you might look at it the situation differently. We are all human after all.

Then comes in personal responsibility. Loads of people tell tales of how they don’t remember how they got home after a night out binge-drinking. You  don’t remember how you got home? Where is the individual responsibility. Where is the bare  minimum? I remember a time when mates would go out and there’d be one on water duty. Everyone else could get pissed except the driver. Nowadays everyone has a piss-up.

As I said things can’t go on the way they are. A lot of this stuff can be fixed with the right level of commitment.