By Wezzie Gausi & Patience Lunda:
A total of 10 people died in road carnage across the country over the Christmas period, Malawi Police Service (MPS) statistics indicate.
However, this year’s Christmas fatality rate is 37 percent lower than during the corresponding period last year, when 16 people succumbed to road accidents.
In total, however, the country registered 43 road accidents, which are less than the 67 registered during the period in 2020.
MPS assistant spokesperson Felix Misomali said there were less accidents this year than last year because law enforcers intensified patrols during the period in question.
“On its part, the Malawi Police Service intensified traffic checks, day and night traffic patrols and sensitisation meetings on road safety nets to further reduce cases of road accidents in Malawi.
“As people will be celebrating the new year, we are still committed to providing maximum security and traffic checks so that cases of accidents can be minimised. We are urging people to avoid drinking and driving because we want people to celebrate the new year responsibly,” Misomali said.
Social commentator Sheriff Kaisi has, meanwhile, commended law enforcers for intensifying security during the festive season.
“The use of alcohol-testing mechanisms on motorists also helped the cause of reducing cases of road accidents in the country,” he said.
President Lazarus Chakwera recently added his voice to calls for motorists to tread carefully on the roads of the country.
Speaking when he presided over the groundbreaking ceremony of Mzimba Street-Kenyatta Drive upgrading works in September this year, he bemoaned the sharp rise in road accident cases in the country.
Chakwera attributed the development to corruption.
“Corruption contributes to the substandard roads that we have. Corruption contributes to the unauthorised vehicles that find themselves on our roads. Corruption is why we find incompetent drivers and motorcyclists without proper training buying licences from corrupt traffic officers. All these contribute to the number of deaths on our roads,” Chakwera said.
Recently, MPS introduced breathalysers to deter motorists from drinking alcohol and driving.