MORE than 20 people have died in road accidents since Saturday, as accidents spiked ahead of the festive season, police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said yesterday.

“The build-up of accidents has not been good. Since Saturday, over 20 people have died on the Bulawayo-Harare Road. Most of these accidents could have been avoided,” Nyathi said while addressing a Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe (TSCZ) Press conference in Harare yesterday.

“A recent accident is that of a Honda Fit which had eight people in it, and six of them died. We urge the public to avoid by all means to board mushika shika as most of them overload.”

He warned drivers to desist from paying bribes to police officers.

“There are some drivers who do not listen whenever they are stopped by police officers.  Whenever they are questioned, they give out money to officers to try and end the case. I am warning such drivers to desist from that as they will end up getting themselves into trouble,” Nyathi said.

TSCZ managing director Munesushe Munodowafa said negligence and drunkenness were the leading causes of road accidents.

“The theme of this year’s road safety campaign is Save Lives — Destination Zero Deaths. This theme is designed to remind all road users to think about safety, with a special emphasis on arriving alive at their destinations, thus ensuring zero road traffic deaths. Factors such as people driving under the influence of alcohol and a growing number of distractions from the Christmas and New Year holidays enthusiasm can all impact on how much attention drivers put on their driving habits.”

Meanwhile, in a statement yesterday, police said 11 people died on Monday in a road accident at the 379km peg along the Harare-Bulawayo Highway.

“In that very same fateful day at around 1000 hours, police recorded another incident which ravaged six people while seven others were injured. The incident happened at the 111km peg along Harare-Bulawayo Road in which six people died while seven others were injured,” the statement read.

Police said another accident occurred during the weekend at the 92km peg along the Bulawayo-Beitbridge Highway, which resulted in the death of two people.

They said five cars were also involved in an accident on December 16 along the Harare-Mutare Highway.  NewsDay

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