By Nevson Mpofu
Zimbabwe is losing millions of dollars due to road traffic accidents, the Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe (TSCZ) has said.
Out of the 40,000 accidents reported annually, 90% of them are a result of human error. It becomes expensive for the country because the country annually spends $460 million.
The Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe Board Chairman, Mr. Albert Mugabe said the increase in road accidents in the country has become extremely costly such that the United Nations has paid a courtesy visit to have a full assessment of the situation.
Mr Mugabe said although there are a number of fatal accidents which have become much costly, the TSCZ is committed to curbing road accidents. Besides financial costs, road traffic accidents also have a cost to human life and human negligence remains the prime cause.
‘’The increase in road accidents is not just financial. It is costly to human lives. The country is losing Z$ 460 000 dollars annually due to accidents. We record 40 000 accidents annually. It’s surprising that 90 % of these are result of human error.
‘’Despite these accidents increasing on daily basis, we as a council, continue to give information to reduce, eradicate and finally mitigate these roads accidents. Safety must come first of all things in this whole system. Safety ensures lives. Therefore we need to call for an end to human error and negligence,’’ Mr. Mugabe said.
A UN Official Pritti Gautam bemoaned the fact that the country continues to experience accidents at the time of economic challenges.
‘’An increasing number of accidents to the country means suffering of the people because the country’s budgets are strained. We know the country is in economic difficulties, but these challenges just a come and go. That is the main reason why the UN Secretary General’s Office on Road Accidents paid a visit to Africa starting with Zimbabwe. We have reasons to give support to alleviate the problems in the country. These problems of roads accidents are not only in Zimbabwe. Some other countries have experienced a number of accidents. Our concern is with the death, maiming of the people and loss of human lives’’, she said.
The UN official said there are a number of strategies and frameworks being worked on by the UN to make an end to road accidents. She added that African countries must work out on strategies to implement policies and enforce stringent legislation to curb accidents.