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Editorial CommentOpinion & Analysis

End these accidents

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Recent road accidents have sent shockwaves across the country. Many have been left to speculate on the causes.

Revelations by the Malawi Police Service (MPS), that in just five months this year, 927 people have died in accidents that occurred in the country are quite chilling.

More so when, in just two weeks of June, at least 15 people died in four accidents which occurred across the country.

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It is encouraging to hear that there was a crisis meeting in Lilongwe over the weekend at which the Road Traffic Directorate (RTD) and other officials were in attendance to find lasting solutions to the problem.

It is saddening that, for a long time, most accidents have been linked to speeding and that is also linked to another vice, drink-driving. Officials from the RTD and police are talking tough on what they will do to bring this sad episode to an end.

They are talking of introducing a toll free line as a way of empowering people to report reckless drivers; they are talking of applying stringent measures against those who flout road traffic regulations. They are even saying minibus drivers, who seem to have their own Highway Code, will find the going tough.

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And they are promising that very soon, they will be naming and shaming those people who will be violating regulations of the road. They are saying they will be publishing in the media a list of those who break road regulations as they are using the country’s roads and the type of offence commit.

Those found drink-driving will be detained first before being taken to court while perpetual offenders will have their licences revoked.

It is quite encouraging that the officials are talking tough. Perhaps, this is the beginning of the end of lawlessness by the country’s road users.

But is this tough-talking not just one of those things they do when tragedy strikes?

Although it took many accidents to occur to jolt the two law enforcement agencies into action, the steps they have outlined are making sense.

But what we are looking for is implementation of the measures, not just tough-talking. If really they implement what they are saying, we believe that accidents on the country’s roads will be a thing of the past.

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