Xmas crash death toll tops 30


Three more people died on Sunday in road traffic accidents, bringing to 30 the number of road traffic fatalities since Christmas eve. Police said 31 others were injured in 48 road accidents that were recorded on Sunday.

National police spokesperson Chief Superintendent Paul Nyathi yesterday said they impounded 69 unroadworthy vehicles and arrested 5 976 motorists for committing various offences.

On December 27 last year, three people died, while 54 were injured in 49 road traffic accidents that were recorded.

Police impounded 106 unroadworthy vehicles and arrested 6 978 motorists caught on the wrong side of the law.

Chief Supt Nyathi said police would remain deployed on the roads and would not hesitate to arrest those found on the wrong side of the law.

“Drivers must be observant on the road in order to curb road traffic accidents. They should also respect the rights of other road users,” he said.

Police are still compiling statistics of the fatalities that have been recorded during the festive season and will release them soon.

The festive season officially began on December 15 and runs until January 15.

Between Christmas eve and Boxing Day, 27 people died while 47 were injured in road traffic accidents, making this year Christmas Holiday one of the bloodiest in years.

Parliament has approved an increase in fines for various traffic offences from between $5 and $20 to a maximum $100.

The new fines become effective on New Year’s Day.

Motorists, who proceed against a red traffic light, overtake over a solid white line, drive without a licence, or operate a faulty vehicle without a foot brake will be fined $100 for each offence up from the current $20.

Encroaching white lines at traffic light stops and verbally abusing other road users now attracts $20 fines from $10.

According to a Government Gazette published a fortnight ago, the legislature gave the nod to the passage of the 2016 National Budget which, among other interventions, will see traffic fines being increased.

Government contends that the increase in fines was necessitated by growing carnage on the country’s roads as a result of human error and reckless driving.

An average of five people have died daily in road traffic accidents between 2009 and last year, while two were injured every hour, according to the 2014 Annual Zimbabwe Republic Police Traffic Report.

During the period, the country witnessed a surge in road traffic ac- cidents.

This was attributed to an increase in vehicle population as more people import the more affordable used Japanese cars.

Police statistics show that 41 016 road traffic accidents were recorded in 2014, a 9 percentage increase from 31 619 reported in 2013.

At least 1 692 people were reported to have died in road traffic accidents in 2014 compared to 1 782 the previous year.

Police say an average 1 824 people died each year between 2009 and 2014.

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