Harare motorists have welcomed the ongoing joint operation launched to tame the traffic chaos that has now become a common feature on the capital city’s roads and in the central business district.
Among the motorists who commended the joint Zimbabwe Republic Police, Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe and other relevant Government bodies and departments are Mt Pleasant residents.
Commenting on the operation, the residents said the operation was long overdue as law abiding motorists were always at the receiving end of the reckless driving by wayward drivers of public service vehicles, heavy trucks and private cars.
The residents said there were a lot of people who needed disciplining through heavy fines to restore sanity on the capital city’s roads. Some road users needed to be reminded of the traffic regulations and road rules, noted the residents.
Arresting drivers who drink and drive and those who drive while using cellphones should also be part of the operation, the residents suggested.
However, the residents said they hoped the operation will not result in the harassing of law abiding motorists over petty issues.
Police have launched an operation to tame the traffic chaos in towns and cities including in Harare where it is now a nightmare to drive on most of the city’s roads and in the central business district.
“Operation tame the traffic jungle” is underway for a two-week period from September 12 to September 26, 2023.
The police are conducting the operation jointly with the Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe, Vehicle Inspectorate Department, city and town councils, Insurance Company of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe National Road Administration (ZINARA), Zimbabwe Revenue Authority and the judiciary.
The operation is targeting vehicles that:
* Do not have registration plates (number plates)
* Do not have ZINARA licensing up to date
* Have foreign fittings such as flood lights etc.
* Improperly imported vehicles i.e. under-declared duty
* Improperly marked vehicles
* Public service vehicles loading and offloading passengers at undesignated places
* Pirate taxis and kombis
* Heavy vehicles crisscrossing within towns and cities in disregard of city by-laws causing congestion
*Undocumented and defective public service vehicles
* Motorists parking dangerously in the middle of roads to avoid paying parking fees in designated bays
* Pedestrians using undesignated crossing points on the roads causing congestion and accidents some fatal
“Lawlessness on the roads especially in major cities has reached an alarming and unacceptable level. Some drivers cause chaos on the by driving against one way, oncoming traffic, through red robots and lane violation.
“Pirate taxis commonly known as mushika-shika and kombis have almost taken over the passenger service industry and are plying the roads with impunity. They recklessly drive through red robots (at traffic lights) controlled intersections. As a result of the chaos on the roads, innocent motorists are having a nightmare while driving in the urban setups,” read a police memo announcing the operation.
However, some motorists felt the road blocks will not solve the problems of drivers shooting through red traffic lights, bad driving, rudeness and disregard of other road users while others called for a complete culture change.
Arguments were also made for a long term solution to the chaos because residents feared that after the two-week operation, the mayhem will be back on the roads. The motorists said ensuring order and sanity on the roads must be an everyday task for law enforcement agencies.
Mandara motorists said enforcing traffic rules and regulations must be an ongoing process instead of conducting short-lived operations because previous operations have in the past not made any big difference.