By Joshua Williams Orwell Jr.
SALIMA-(MaraviPost)-On Saturday all dust in Salima led to Msalura Community Day Secondary School football ground where the Directorate for Road Traffic and Safety Services (DRTSS) commemorated Africa Road Safety Day in the district.
The ceremony which was spiced up by performances from Skeffa Chimoto, popular traditional dances, plays and comedies.
This aimed at sensitizing the public about road safety issues in the wake of the higher road traffic accidents rate registered this year which has claimed over 1,700 lives.
Speaking at the ceremony, Acting Director of Road Traffic and Safety Service Fergus Gondwe bemoaned the recent increase in road accidents as damaging to Malawi’s economy revealing that most of the victims of road accidents are productive young men aged 25-44.
“The main cause of accidents in Malawi is due to human error which includes driving under the influence of alcohol, careless cycling or driving and overspending,” said Fergus Gondwe.
Gondwe called on all people to observe road traffic regulations on the road remarking that road safety is an issue which affects everyone no matter where they belong.
Commenting on the matter, the Minister for Transport and Public works Honorable Jappie Mhango could not hide his disappointment claiming that the increase in road traffic accidents is pathetic.
“Some of us are ashamed that this country can see such road accidents under our watch, it’s a fallacy and we need to admit that,” said Mhango.
Mhango also disclosed government’s plans to start tracking down all public transport through satellite and limiting the capacity of passengers as one way of reducing road accidents that Capitol Hill is considering.
The directorate for Road Traffic and Safety Services has introduced a toll free line dubbed 4040 where people can call and report unusual activities to combat the increases in road accidents.
Road Safety issues remain a pressing matter globally where statistics show that almost 1.2 million people die every year from road accidents.
And over 50 million people sustain injuries worldwide hence the African Union decided to set apart a special day to commemorate Road Safety day.
Malawi Government also intends to expand the Sengabay Road as it is narrow and has been causing problems to motorist and cyclists.
The event is held annually in Malawi since its inception in 2013 when the first ceremony was held at Kamuzu Institute of Sports.
In attendance at this year’s event, there was the Inspector General of Police Lexten Chatama, Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security, Honorable Cecilia Chazama and Member of Parliament for Salima Central Felix Jumbe among other high profile members.