Harare (New Ziana)-At least nine people have been hit by trains this month alone, resulting in two deaths, the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) has said.
In a statement, the NRZ raised concerned about the increasing number of people being hit by trains after straying on railway tracks either intentionally or by accident.
“So far in March, nine people have been hit by trains, resulting in two deaths while the others sustained serious injuries.
“Avoid using rail tracks as paths especially when putting earphones. Apart from causing delays, the incidents cause emotional trauma to train crews,” said the NRZ.
Speaking in the Senate on Thursday, Transport and Infrastructural development Minister Felix Mhona, said the rail infrastructure would be equipped with appropriate and latest warning equipment.
“The pertinent issue regarding accidents where railway lines and roads cross; in the past, we had electrical connections for such warnings but because of the pilfering of such facilities, now we do not have what we used to have. In the past, when a train was approaching, there were adequate warnings.
“I believe that at the moment the National Railways of Zimbabwe which is responsible for this job is going to be empowered in such a way that it warns motorists. This is one thing that we are going to see happening, road signs and railway crossings are going to be put in place. This will be done in line with the rehabilitation of the rail infrastructure,” he said.
Mhona however urged motorists to be cautious and alert when approaching rail road intersections.
“As motorists, it is mandatory that you exercise caution when crossing railroad intersections. So we need to pause and observe the law by stopping at rail road crossing,” he said.
He said it was deplorable that most motorists are no longer observing the law.
“So eventually we need to have police officers manning roads so that they can fine offenders. In other countries it is not allowed and it is an offence not to observe zebra crossings without allowing pedestrians to pass.
“So my response is that we are going to continue working towards the observance of the law,” he said.