By Sharon Munjenjema
The country experienced a significant drop in traffic offences to 59 000 in the January to November period last year from 70 000 cases in the comparable period in 2017, as authorities heighten efforts to reduce road carnage, a Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (Zimstat) fourth-quarter report for 2018 has revealed.
Notwithstanding the marked drop, road accidents claimed 1 986 lives last year, 158 more than a year earlier.
Traffic offences are considered one of the most common crimes in Zimbabwe.
Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe (TSCZ) spokesperson Mr Tatenda Chinoda said there continues to be ongoing campaigns to eliminate driver errors, which are considered to be the main cause of road accidents.
“Sixteen teams countrywide are already on the road doing awareness campaigns at roadblocks. Our theme is ‘stop road deaths, eradicate driver errors’.
“Our radio and television campaigns are ongoing,” said Mr Chinoda.
Self-policing, he added, could help reduce road carnage.
Encouragingly, police only managed to book 1 994 cases of people who were driving without driver’s licences in the period under review, which represents a marked drop from 8 758 cases in 2017.
The number of un-insured vehicles also declined to 4 878 from 20 040 a year earlier.
However, cases of reckless and negligent driving soared to 51 557 from 26 583 in 2017.
Curiously, no cases for drunken driving were opened last year, while only 577 motorists were arrested for speeding compared to 13 057 in 2017.
Fraud, Rape and Murder
Overall, of the more than 200 000 cases reported in the review period, there was an increased incidence in fraud, rape and murder crimes, respectively.
At least more than 10 663 cases of fraud, representing an increase of 1 259, were filed with the police.
Rape cases, however, marginally fell to 7 110 from 7 394 a year earlier.
But murder cases were on the rise, with police booking 1 271 incidences, a rise from 1 067 last year.
Culpable homicide cases similarly rose to 1 498 from 1 246 in the period.
The number of infanticide reports fell to 130 from 147.
Also, the number of abortion cases have been progressively falling to 80 last year compared to 85, 96 and 96 in 2017, 2016 and 2015, respectively.
Car thefts and armed robberies rose to 545 and 476 from 398 and 429 in that order. Sunday Mail.