Ivan Zhakata Herald Correspondent
Journalists should continuously report on traffic safety to complement Government efforts to reduce road carnage by 50 percent by the year 2030, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa has said.
She was officiating at the 7th edition of the Road Safety Journalistic Awards in Harare last Friday.
“Let me implore the media to play its part in the campaign to reduce road traffic deaths by 50 percent by the year 2030,” she said.
“Constant knocking smoothens the rock. Repeated mass road safety reportage will surely see Zimbabwe gaining milestones in the inculcation of a road safety culture for every road user.
“Therefore, the media have a role to play in so far as the fight against road traffic injury is concerned. The jungle behaviour of some road users, unlicensed drivers, corruption associated with the testing and licensing of drivers, the condition of our roads, the driver errors causing road crashes, traffic congestion and any rot associated with enforcement of traffic laws must be named and shamed.”
The minister urged journalists to highlight the level of driver errors in all road traffic collisions they report on.
“Although road traffic errors are commonly associated with drivers, they can also manifest in pedestrians, animal drovers, passengers, cyclists and motorbike riders,” she said.
“I would like to appeal to the editorial policies of various media houses to go a long way in sharpening the road safety behaviour of the generality of our road users, thereby cultivating an everlasting road safety culture.
“Indeed, road safety should be everyone’s responsibility. Above all, this reporting helps alert responsible authorities on the need to review existing and formulate new road traffic safety laws and policies.”
Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Joel Biggie Matiza, who also attended the function, said there was need to inculcate a road safety culture among every road user.
Minister Matiza urged people to appreciate Government efforts to create safe roads through the ongoing road rehabilitation to reach the vision of reducing road carnage by 50 percent by 2030.
“Our national target, as guided by the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety, is to reduce road traffic deaths by 50 percent by the year 2030,” he said.
“As you may be aware, the Government in this Second Republic through the leadership of His Excellency President Cde E.D Mnangagwa is championing Vision 2030, which seeks to develop the nation into an upper middle-income economy.”
Minister Matiza said people should appreciate Government efforts to make roads safer through road construction and rehabilitation that is ongoing in each province countrywide.
“Our Government’s concern for the safety of its people is indisputable,” he said. “Along the Harare-Beitbridge Highway, there is dualisation work in progress at Beatrice, Mvuma, Bubi and Masvingo.
“Such Government efforts must then be complemented by responsible road usage. Drivers must desist from excessive and inappropriate speed as well as driving without licences. The most effective road traffic enforcement is behaviour change by all road users.”