HARARE – At least 92 people were killed in a total 1,285 road traffic accidents recorded in Zimbabwe between 15 and 26 December 2022, according to police Tuesday.
Of the deaths recorded, 13 occurred on Christmas Day.
At least 69 of the accidents were fatal.
According to police, the number of fatalities increased by 20 after 72 deaths were recorded during the same period last year.
At least 333 people were also injured this year in the same road traffic accidents which happened during the period which covers Unity Day, Christmas Day and Boxing Day holidays.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said most of the accidents involved private vehicles.
“On Unity Day, 22nd December 2022, a total of 107 road traffic accidents were recorded countrywide, and three of the accidents were fatal, where three people died while 27 others were injured.
“In 2021, 144 road traffic accidents were recorded, with seven being fatal, killing 10 people while 26 others were injured.
“On Christmas Day, 25th December 2022, a total of 119 road traffic accidents were recorded countrywide, with 10 being fatal, killing 13 people and injuring 89, compared to 187 road traffic accidents recorded during the same period in 2021, with 10 fatal which killed 13 people and injured 35 others,” he said.
Police said on Boxing Day, 88 road traffic accidents were recorded countrywide, 15 being fatal and 16 people killed while 19 others were injured.
In 2021, 103 traffic accidents were recorded, with five being fatal, seven people killed while 29 others injured.
Nyathi attributed the road traffic accidents to reckless driving.
“Most of the road traffic accidents occurred on highways as a result of speeding, overtaking errors, inattention, misjudgment, following too close and recklessness on the part of drivers, who in most of the accidents recorded were trying to overtake in situations which were not safe do so, encroached onto the lane of oncoming traffic, straddle centre lane, showed clear poor observation and control of the vehicles resulting in some hitting pedestrians who were walking on the side of the roads or standing at bus stops,” Nyathi said.
The police spokesperson said private vehicles topped the number of accidents recorded so far.
“However, the police is concerned with the number of private vehicles involved in accidents during this holiday. Some of them will be overloaded while others are being used for purposes which are clearly not suitable for such use.
“The Zimbabwe Republic Police urges drivers to be cautious and promote safety on the roads as the holiday continues. There is no need for one to be over-excited or reckless on the roads.
“The police will continue with the current deployment level on the roads and communities till the 15th of January 2023.”
In his 2022 festive season statement, Police Commissioner General Godwin Matanga urged drivers to avoid speeding.