Road accidents claim 718 lives
At least 718 people died in road accidents from January to June this year.
This, according to a Malawi Police Service (MPS) situation report, means 66 more people have died in the first six months of the year when compared to cases of death recorded during a similar period last year.
It further says, during the six months of 2021, a total of 5,997 road accidents occurred, representing a 23.4 percent increase. In 2020, a total of 4,860 people succumbed to road accidents between January and June.
The report also highlights that 433 people suffered injuries while, in 2020, 366 cases of serious road accidents were reported, with 472 getting injured.
MPS spokesperson James Kadadzera attributed the rise in cases of accidents to speeding and careless driving.
Among other vehicles, 4,940 saloon vehicles were involved in road accidents, against the figure of 1,146 minibuses, 708 motorcycles and 125 buses involved in accidents across the country.
In terms of the road users, 355 pedestrians, 138 passengers and 68 motorcyclists were killed.
Kadadzera said every user has been affected one way or the other, adding that observing road traffic rules and regulations should be a must.
“Drivers should not speed. They should not do careless overtaking. If we are serious about this, we can reduce the occurrence of accidents on the road. Otherwise, the current situation is very worrisome,” he said
Recently, the Ministry of Transport and motorcyclists in the country have been at loggerheads over unprofessional driving due to lack of proper training and licences, among other things.
In 2018, the World Health Organisation ranked Malawi third on the list of countries that register an increased number fatalities arising out of road accidents.
Last month, a World Bank report indicated that alcohol abuse was one of the factors contributing significantly to cases of road accidents in the country.
The study, which involved 1,251 respondents, showed that the rate of alcohol use was 30.7 percent among males and 2.5 percent among females.