By Pamela Shumba
The Boxing Day holiday road accident death toll has increased by 200 percent this year to 15, from five last year.
National police spokesperson Chief Superintendent Paul Nyathi yesterday said some motorists were failing to take heed of road traffic safety awareness campaigns held by the police and Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe (TSCZ).
“This year, 15 people died while there were five deaths last year. We recorded 79 road traffic accidents on Boxing Day compared to 63 on the same day in 2016 while fatal road accidents recorded were 10 compared to five on the same day last year.
The number of people injured was 34 on Boxing Day this year compared to 13 last year.
“It’s sad to note that most road traffic accidents have been attributed to speeding, overtaking errors, inattention or misjudgement and failure by drivers to give way,” said Chief Supt Nyathi.
He reminded road users that they have a role to play to ensure safety on the roads, adding that it was disturbing to note that out of 10 fatal road traffic accidents recorded, seven were caused by speeding.
Chief Supt Nyathi said one of the accidents involved a Toyota Fun Cargo with six passengers which collided head on with a Nissan Sunny which had four passengers.
“The Nissan Sunny was trying to overtake another vehicle when the accident occurred and six people died in the accident. It’s sad to note that one negligent driver caused the death of six people,” said Chief Supt Nyathi.
He said in a related incident, an unknown motorist ran over a pedestrian at the 23km peg along the Harare-Mutare Road near Genje Business Centre in Ruwa and sped off.
“We’re appealing to anyone with information on the whereabouts of this errant driver to report to the nearest police station. I also urge passengers to reprimand speeding drivers to avoid accidents.
“We continue to urge motorists to exercise extreme caution while behind the wheel during this festive season.
“Police are also appealing to foreign motorists to abide by the country’s road rules and regulations. We also urge motorists to be cautious as they drive along wet roads,” said Chief Supt Nyathi.
Nine people died in road traffic accidents on Christmas Day this year compared to 16 on the same day last year while 15 were killed on Unity Day this year. The Chronicle