By Pilirani Kachinziri:
Malawi Police Service (MPS) have said they will charge the driver, whose motor vehicle killed four people in a road accident in Chiradzulu District on Tuesday, with causing death by reckless driving.
Such an offence attracts hefty fines and, in some cases, a jail term.
MPS national spokesperson, James Kadadzera, said preliminary findings show that a Toyota Dyna 3-tonner truck, which was being driven by Laudon Taipi, was overloaded and speeding.
“The driver was failing to control the vehicle. We will charge him with causing death by reckless driving,” he said.
The people were travelling from Mulanje to attend a John Chilembwe Day commemoration event at Providence Industrial Mission where President Peter Mutharika was in attendance.
Reports indicate that 45 people were in the vehicle and 16 suffered serious injuries and were admitted to Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital and Nguludi Hospital.
He said 26 people were treated as out-patients.
Kadadzera said the driver is among those who were critically injured and will be charged after being discharged from the hospital.
The police spokesperson said it was illegal to carry people in a lorry because such motor vehicles are meant for cargo.
“When people are going to [attend] political rallies, they need to hire buses or mini buses. We always emphasise this but some don’t want to listen. We are now enforcing this law,” he said.
Speaking during the commemoration of Africa Roads Safety Day in Karonga District recently, Director of the Directorate of Road Traffic and Safety Services (DRTSS), Francia Fergus Gondwe, said at least 4,000 people have died in fatal road accidents since 2014 due to speeding and careless overtaking.
He said most people who are being killed were aged between 25 and 44 years, which is an economically active group.
The funeral ceremony of the four took place in Mulanje District yesterday.
To reduce cases of road accidents, DRTSS has planned programmes such as shifting from spot fines to electronic enforcement, awareness programmes and training drivers and vehicle owners in issues related to goods and passenger vehicles.
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