Home » Governance » Senators Bemoan Road Carnage

Senators have bemoaned road traffic accidents that have claimed thousands of lives due to human error. To curb the carnage, they proposed stiffer penalties for road traffic offenders and to make road traffic education compulsory from Grade Zero to universities and colleges. Former Cabinet minister and Zanu-PF senator for Mashonaland East, Dr Olivia Muchena, moved a motion in the Upper House on Wednesday calling on Government to amend the Road Traffic Act and make traffic offences deterrent.

“In Zimbabwe, drunken driving is punishable by imprisonment for two to 15 years,” said Dr Muchena

“In South Africa, the penalty for drunken driving is three months imprisonment. In Singapore you pay between $1364 and $6821, that is if you pay a fine, otherwise they disqualify you as a driver for drunken driving.

“In Malaysia, it is automatic imprisonment. The penalty for speeding in Zimbabwe is $5 to $20 per kilometre. In South Africa, speeding attracts $250 or six months in jail, in Malaysia — imprisonment. In Dubai, $200, in Switzerland, $100 to $1 000. Are our fines deterrent enough?”

She said the drivers in Zimbabwe continued to breach traffic laws because the country did not have deterrent laws.

“Kwaita inonzi donga watonga pamugwagwa. There is no rule of law on our roads most of the time. This culture of lawlessness is increasing by the day, according to my observations.

“Mr President Sir, we are urging the Executive to look at the laws, the Road Traffic Act with a view to amending it. More importantly, we need amendments to provide for stiffer penalties, more deterrent penalties, fine ngairwadze and ngaibhadharwe,” she said.

Manicaland Senator, Retired General Mike Nyambuya said lawlessness on the country’s roads had become a cause for concern.

“It is very sad that over time, our roads have now evolved into jungles and it is not only a jungle, but very hostile jungles because we have allowed ourselves to drift from an orderly nation, which had manners on the road which had discipline on the road to one that is now governed by survival of the fittest,” he said.

“That is what is happening on our roads and it is sad for all of us because if we cultivate that culture of survival of the fittest, we will only experience more and more accidents and we will retrogress by way of development.”

Chief Nembire of Mashonaland West attributed the increase of lawlessness on the roads to corruption in the issuance of drivers’ licences.

Other senators said there was need to include road traffic education on the curriculum from primary to university level.

Source : The Herald