Road safety status in Zimbabwe
Stanley Makombe Zimbabwe’s road safety systems must be “re-engineered” to create a new dispensation if the country is to make significant strides. Institutions that participate in the whole chain of these factors include Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara), Vehicle Inspection Depot (VID), Central Vehicle Registry (CVR), local authorities, Department of Roads, Traffic Safety Council (TSC) and the media. The Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe came into being in 2002 through an Act of Parliament with a mandate to promote safety on the roads, to disseminate information on road safety, to publish the Highway Code, to control and regulate driving schools and driving instructors, to establish standards of practice to be observed by driving schools and to improve the quality of training provided by such schools.
It is further responsible for the allocation and disbursement of funds from the road fund to road authorities.In addition, it audits the use of the funds from the road fund by road authorities, monitors the implementation of road maintenance works by road authorities and assists them in making annual or multi-year road maintenance rolling plans. Crucially, the Department of Roads, which falls under the Ministry of Transport, is responsible for State highways, while the local authorities are responsible for their city, town and rural roads and therefore play a direct role in rehabilitating, repairing and expanding the roads.
The 2020 Vision by Government — to have world class roads — as enunciated by the Ministry, is commendable.The current work on the Plumtre-Harare-Mutare highway, the plans to dualise the Harare to Bulawayo stretch and the completion of the feasibility study on the North-South Corridor goes to show that the country is moving in the right direction towards the goal of improving our country’s road infrastructure. Our roads have never really been maintained properly of late, showing a serious gap in town planning.It is sad to know that the Harare Drive design that was done in 1972 has not yet been fully implemented up to now.
You will realise that if it had been implemented, traffic jams in Harare may not be as they are now. In essence, the plan prevented traffic passing through the Central Business District (CBD).Critical legislative and administrative structures must be changed to achieve the goal of improving our road safety in Zimbabwe.
The current effort towards repair, rehabilitation and expansion programmes should be sustained religiously. In my view, there are systems that must be put in place to have most of the toll-gate fees and road fund go directly into works and limit a lot of unnecessary administrative costs.
Under the current laws, Zinara collects toll fees, fuel levies, vehicle licence fees and transit fees, axle overloading fees and abnormal load fees and transit coupon fees.On toll fees, Zinara pays 10 percent to Zimra as collection fees and deducts its own administration fees, which are 2,5 percent. So, technically, we will be left with 72 percent before other parties get their share.... Read the full, comprehensive news article and discuss at The Sunday Mail