Zim-SA in joint traffic safety campaigns
Polokwane, (New Ziana)-The Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe (TSCZ) and the Road Accident Fund (RAF) of South Africa on Thursday launched a four-day campaign here to raise awareness among local motorists as well as those from the region on the need to be cautious when driving to avoid carnage.
The campaign follows a similar one held on the Zimbabwean side on the Bubi and Gwanda roads from the 18th to the 23rd of December last year.
This year the campaign was launched along the N1 highway linking Mussina and Polokwane where vehicles from Zimbabwe and other neighbouring countries pass en-route to Johannesburg.
TSCZ acting director of operations, Ernest Muchena told New Ziana that the campaigns were bearing fruits in Zimbabwe as the number of accidents went down during the just ended festive holidays.
“We are along the N1 highway where TSCZ, Zimbabwe Republic Police have joined hands with the RAF, Limpopo Traffic and the South Africa’s Department of Transport. We are educating motorists on the issues of road safety. The police are checking on the vehicles for certificates of fitness, validity and authenticity of the drivers’ licences,” he said.
“We were also urging drivers to park and rest because you find that when people go through border formalities, they can be so tired and fatigue is one of the major causes of road accidents,” he added.
According to the Zimbabwe Republic Police, between December 5 last year and January 5 this year, about 1 518 road accidents were recorded, down from 2 430 during the same period in 2018.
“We also attribute that to the campaign where education is passed on to passing motorists,” said Muchena.
“We still believe that if we continue to carry out more such campaigns, we get to reduce road carnage on our roads,” he said.
RAF road safety manager Thabo Makwela said the purpose of the campaign was to assist in improving road safety.
“We have organised this campaign with our Zimbabwean counterparts because we want to improve road safety on our roads,” he said.
“In order for us to win the fight against road accidents, we have to jointly do these campaigns,” he added.
At least 14 000 people are killed in road accidents across South Africa, according to the RAF.
“As the RAF, we register over 205 000 claims, that’s from South Africa, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and other neighbouring countries,” said Makwela.
“We are spending a lot of money, last year alone we spent R42 billion compensating victims of road accidents. So with this kind of operation, we are hoping to reduce fatalities, we are hoping to reduce serious injuries and number of crashes within our two countries,” he said.
Thursday’s road block saw one Zimbabwean, Tinotenda Barwa being arrested for driving without a drivers licence while Polokwane police also issued several tickets for different traffic offences.