17 May 2017

Zimbabwe: Govt to Put 'Brakes' On Speeding Drivers

Government will soon come up with road traffic legislation that will make it compulsory for all public service vehicles to be fitted with speed limiting gadgets in a bid to reduce road fatalities caused by speeding drivers, a senior official has revealed.

Transport and Infrastructural Development Deputy Minister Engineer Michael Madanha also invited the private sector to consider the feasibility of installing speed governors and other in-vehicle technologies. "I am sure we agreed on the fact that some drivers are not disciplined enough to manage speed on their own," he said. "Intelligent speed assistance imposed on the vehicle will help the driver not to speed when the speed limit is reached."

Eng Madanha was speaking at the launch of the fourth Global Road Safety Week 2017 in Harare last Friday. "After thorough consultations, there is nothing that would prevent my ministry from developing a road traffic law which will make it compulsory for all public service vehicles to be fitted with specified and appropriate in-vehicle speed governing technologies," he said.

"Excessive speed is when a vehicle exceeds the posted speed limit for a particular road. This is illegal. On the other hand, inappropriate speed is when a vehicle travels at a speed that is unsuitable for that road, prevailing weather, and/or traffic conditions, but within the speed limit."

Eng Madanha said Government was committed to road traffic safety, as witnessed by the commemoration and appreciation of the global response to road safety.

He said he was proud that the country was ranked number four in Africa in terms of the mid-term status of implementation of the African Road Safety Action Plan. "The country was named fourth after Ghana, Nigeria and South Africa," said Eng Madanha. "This is not an easy achievement."

Eng Madanha said global research had shown that a 5 percent cut in average speed could result in a 30 percent reduction in the number of fatal road crashes. "To help highlight the impact of speed, it has been proven that an adult pedestrian has less than 20 percent risk of dying if struck by a car travelling below 50km/hr," said Eng Madanha. "However, if the speed of the car is 80km/hr, the same adult has almost 60 percent risk of dying if hit."

Last week, Government challenged traffic police officers to enforce speed limits by bringing to book reckless drivers to reduce road carnage.

Eng Madanha said Government would establish features, including appropriate speed limits, for each road.

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