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New Blitz Against Speeding Bus Drivers Nabs 844

Suspended Zebra Kiss, Rimbi Tours Apologise, Fire “Reckless” Drivers

New Blitz Against Speeding Bus Drivers Nabs 844

BUS drivers are now frequently penalised for speeding, as the police commend the Zimbabwe Public Transport Organisation (ZPTO) for their assistance in deploying the novel speed tracking system, which has resulted in the arrest of 844 drivers since last month.

Transport providers have just begun equipping buses with speed tracking and restricting equipment in accordance with Statutory Instrument 118 of 2023, which restricts open-road speed to 100km/h.

Harare Central Police Station has established a monitoring centre.

The government has ordered that all public sector vehicles, including buses, be outfitted with speed restriction and monitoring equipment to reduce driver speeding and save lives.

Following the gazetting of new laws by Transport and Infrastructure Development Minister Felix Mhona in June, police would be equipped to enforce compliance.

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Police in Harare held a preliminary meeting for the festive season campaign yesterday, which was attended by transport operators and other stakeholders.

During the meeting, Assistant Commissioner Taonei Nyazema, the Officer Commanding Operations in Harare province, stated that the Christmas season was a time for joy and festivities, but it was also a time of heightened road carnage.

“As law enforcement officers, operators, and other stakeholders, we all share the same decisive actions to prevent traffic accidents, injuries, fatalities, and property destruction.” We must not allow the situation to deteriorate on our watch.

Your attendance at this crucial meeting demonstrates the importance you place on it.

“As a result, your dedication and commitment to this cause are greatly appreciated.” We can all work together to make a genuine impact and save lives throughout the upcoming holiday season. Now I must inform you of the gravity of the position we are now in.

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“Harare Province alone recorded a total of 25 409 accidents from January to October 2023, compared to 24 010 accidents during the same period last year.” “This represents an increase of 9.4 percent,” he remarked.

3 300 persons were wounded within the same time period, compared to 3 025 in 2022.

“For the festive season, 15 December 2022 to 15 January 2023 we had a total of 2 945 accidents where 310 people were injured while 43 were killed. These statistics highlight the urgency and importance of this meeting.

“In light of this, I would like to express my appreciation to the Zimbabwe Public Transport Organisation (ZPTO) for their support in implementing the innovative speed tracking system. Since its launch, we have a cumulative arrest of 844 accused for speeding and revenue of $1 050 was realised through deposit fines.

“With the implementation of the speed tracking system, this year’s festive season should be an accident free period. No accidents should be recorded. I implore you all to urge all drivers to observe road rules and regulations,” Asst Comm Nyazema said.

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He said they have also observed a significant reduction in accidents involving buses as a result of the enforcement of speed limits.

“This is indeed an encouraging development, and we hope that all bus operators will join this initiative before December 15, to ensure that the safety of our travelling publics is guaranteed. Apart from use of the speed tracking initiative, our Province has managed to do a total of 112 campaigns conscientising drivers and operators to avoid speeding.

“I also want to take this opportunity to reiterate that the Zimbabwe Republic Police is fully committed to maintaining law and order on the roads. We will not tolerate any form of lawlessness.

“Our duty is to enforce traffic regulations, hold accountable those who violate them, and ensure the safety of all road users. With the support of everyone gathered here, the objective of ensuring a bloodless festive season is within reach.

“However, it saddens me that there are still hosts of operators who are yet to join the programme. Some operators are even disabling the speed tracking devices, which undermines the purpose of our gathering. This behaviour is deeply troubling, and we must address it collectively,” Asst Comm Nyazema said.

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ZPTO Chairman Dr Sam Nhanhanga said their organisation represents the interests of passenger transport operators who provide intercity, intra city and cross border transport service.

“Today the 29th of November 2023 we are here with law enforcers and insurers to give us their expectations as far as road usage is concerned and promote safety and reliability which is ZPTO’s mission of existence.

“We have realised compliance is being eroded day by day due to lack of communication among bus operators, bus crews and the law interpreters. Road carnage has become an enormous killer in this country because of accidents.

“According to the UN and reliable sources, Zimbabwean accidents cost 4 percent of our GDP. At the same time experts have predicted a 4 percent growth of GDP, meaning we are going nowhere.

“Fellow citizens, drivers, passengers and pedestrians lets join hands and fight road carnage. We have seen it worthwhile to come together during this period where Christians and non-Christians move from one place to the other in high volumes celebrating Christmas and New Year holidays. Drinking and over excitement are at their highest level,” he said.

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“We need your word of wisdom to safeguard the lives of citizens and all trespassers. To my fellow bus operators and other road users it has been proved that human error is the main cause of accidents.”

Vehicle Inspection Department (VID) acting director Mr Martin Musengezi said they have put in place measures to ensure the safety of travellers.

“The VID and the police will be in full force throughout the festive season to ensure that there is full compliance and we are ready to maintain safety on our roads. We would like public transport operators to be cautious on the road.

“As VID we are very much concerned about the roadworthiness of vehicles with particular reference to the bus sector, kombi drivers, the public in general and private motor operators,” he said.

The meeting was attended by senior police officers and bus operators.

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