Police statistics indicate that since the 15th of this month 70 people have been killed and 412 others injured in 579 road accidents which occurred as from the 15th of this month.
During the same period last year, 32 people were killed, while 247 others were injured in 509 road accidents. Festive period accident monitoring starts from December 15 to January 15.
Police statistics show that 89 people had been killed by December 31 last year. Road accidents cause more deaths if steps are not taken to curb carnage on the roads. Speaking to the Herald yesterday, police spokesperson Superintendent Tinaye Matake confirmed the accidents covering December 15 to yesterday morning.
“In a period extending from December 15 to date (yesterday) we received 579 cases of road accidents throughout the country.
“Out of this number, 46 were fatal with 70 people being killed and more than 412 injured.”
Supt Matake said four people were arrested for driving without valid drivers’ licences.
“We have 8 175 cases of people who were arrested for carrying excess passengers and 502 for driving while talking on cellphones.
“Our teams impounded 546 vehicles with various defects and 8 666 tickets were issued out.”
Supt Matake, however, declined to disclose the amount of money collected so far.
He attributed most of the accidents to speeding, inattentiveness, misjudgment, overtaking errors, reversing and turning mistakes.
Harare recorded the highest number of number of accidents.
“Harare was leading with 244 road accidents that killed six people. In Bulawayo, 82 accidents took place and three people died.
“Midlands is third with 61 accidents and eight deaths. Thirteen people died in Matabeleland North Province in 16 accidents that were recorded.
“Matabeleland South had 25 accidents where eight people died. Masvingo had 33 accidents which claimed 12 lives, Manicaland 53 accidents and six deaths, Mashonaland Central and East had 11 and 26 accidents resulting in the death of one and 10 people respectively. Mashonaland West recorded 29 accidents, leaving three people dead,” he said.
Supt Matake urged motorists to exercise caution.
“All motorists should treasure life and safeguard it. They should desist from overloading their vehicles so as to avoid accidents because overloading will result in tyres bursting, failure to control vehicles in emergencies and killing of innocent souls,” he said.
Meanwhile, police in Hurungwe have warned motorists against bribery at roadblocks.
Officer Commanding Hurungwe District Chief Superintendent Justin Mandizha said travellers must exercise their rights by refusing to pay bribes demanded by corrupt policemen at roadblocks.
“It is everyone’s right to freely travel to places of their choice during this festive season and we urge all motorists never to pay bribes to some wayward officers manning some road blocks.
“Motorists must have zero tolerance to bribery and extortion. They should quickly report such cases so that the perpetrators are brought to book.
“As police, we also urge all road users to exercise caution on our roads and not to drink and drive since this can only bring sadness when people must be enjoying their Christmas and New Year holiday.”
Closing the 13th Zanu-PF Annual National People’s Conference in Gweru this month, President Mugabe expressed concern over policemen who were taking bribes from moto-rists.