The rising number of hit and run traffic accidents has become a cause for concern for the police as a 41-year-old man was killed by a vehicle at the 53km peg along the Rusape-Nyanga road on Christmas eve, while a Mabvuku man escaped another road mishap with a fractured elbow and deep cut on the cheek.
Neither driver stopped to render assistance.
In a statement, police national spokesman Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said law enforcement agents were concerned at the growing number of recorded road traffic accidents in which motorists ran over pedestrians in circumstances where the victims would be either just standing or walking alongside a road.
The 41-year-old man who died at the 53km peg along the Rusape-Nyanga road was struck by an unknown motorist who escaped the accident scene.
At the George Bus Stop in Mabvuku along the Harare-Mutare road, another unidentified motorist hit a 42-year-old man recently and sped off towards Harare.
The victim suffered a fractured elbow and a deep cut on the cheek after which he was rushed to Parirenyatwa Group Hospitals for treatment.
Generally speaking the courts consider the offence of refusing to stop and render assistance more severely than the actual accident, even when the motorist might be at fault. When the police arrest a hit-and-run driver there are two charges, one relating to the accident and the second to the refusal to stop.
In the past few days of the festive season, more than 20 people have been killed in road traffic accidents throughout the country, with the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZimStat) blaming most of these on human error.
Shockingly, a huge number of motorists found on the country’s roads are unlicensed, another contributory factor for the high vehicle road accidents.
Zimstat also reports that 604 people died in road traffic accidents in the third quarter, July to September, a 15 percent increase in fatalities compared to the same period in the previous year when 400 fatalities were recorded. This is despite a 3,2 decrease in the number of accidents at 12 564 compared to the second quarter of this year. — New Ziana