Malawi: Police Bemoan Increase in Road Accidents

Lilongwe — Police in Lilongwe are worried over an increase in road accidents in the city due to inconsiderate driving.

Lingadzi Police Public Relations Officer (PRO), Salome Zgambo in an interview Friday in Lilongwe with Malawi News Agency (Mana) said the station has registered a number of accidents occurring due to reckless driving.

She said the station has registered 412 accidents from January to June, 2020 as compared to January and June, 2019 when it registered 155 cases, representing an increase of 165 percent.

"Our research shows that 95 percent of accidents are minor and damages only which are mostly caused due to reckless driving. Most of these cases revealed that drivers were on a phone," the PRO said.

Zgambo said that apart from the use of cellphones while driving, other contributing factors are unnecessary speeding, traffic congestion and poor road infrastructure.

She said that, "It has been noted due to Covid-19 pandemic, most people do not report for work and the roads are clear which makes some drivers to get so comfortable ignoring road signs and cruise to the maximum of speed limit resulting into accidents."

Zgambo added that road diversions in the city have contributed to road accidents because most drivers notice the diversions when they are too close resulting into accidents.

According to the PRO, Police have put several measures in reducing road accidents, such as intensifying traffic checks and patrols.

She said that the traffic section is facing challenges due to Covid-19 such as the use of breathalyzers to assess if one is driving while drunk which at the end one ends up causing an accident.

"The traffic section has reduced manpower of officers who are working in shifts as a preventive measure to Covid-19. This has forced police to reduce traffic checks," Zgambo pointed out.

Police is advising all road users to be more careful and observe road signs to avoid road accidents.

More From: Malawi News Agency

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