The Malawi Police Service (MPS) on Tuesday bemoaned the increased rate of road accidents in the country, saying at least 165 people died between January and March this year.
National police spokesperson Davie Chingwalu said in a statement that 384 road accidents were recorded in the three months under review, a figure he described as overwhelming.
â€œThe Malawi Police Service is worried with an overwhelming increase in road accidents in the country,â€ said Chingwalu. â€œFrom January to March 2012, a total of 384 road accidents were registered and a total of 165 people died whilst 105 others suffered serious injuries.â€
Chingwalu said 93 people escaped with minor injuries whereas 18 accidents involving vehicle to vehicle damages only were registered during the same period.
He said the Central Region registered the highest number of road accidentsâ€”188, followed by the Southern Region with 127, then Eastern and Northern regions with 36 and 34 accidents, respectively.
Chingwalu said police investigations revealed that most of the road carnage was caused by over-speeding and noncompliance with road signs, reckless driving due to insufficient knowledge of the Highway Code, driving while drunk and ignorance and failure of road users to observe road safety tips or rules when crossing the road.
He said: â€œWith these in mind, the Malawi Police Service on the one hand sees it befitting and beneficial for each and every driver to go for a defensive driving course to reduce road carnage in the country.
â€œOn the other hand, the service considers beneficial print and electronic media sensitisation and awareness articles/programmes run by the National Road Safety Council in corroboration with the Police despite the fact that such initiatives demand sufficient funds.â€
In another development, Chingwalu said police have established that there is circulation of counterfeit bank notes of the newly-introduced series and three people have been arrested after being found in possession of such fake money.
He said Mphatso Ulondo, 24, was arrested at a bottlestore in Blantyreâ€™s Bangwe Township when the barman realised that the suspect was buying beer using fake bank notes. He was found with K121 000 fake notes in the pockets after a search by police.
Chingwalu also said Ibrahim Saidi, 25, and Frank Labana, 27, were arrested in Mangochi, after the shop owner where they bought cooking oil worth K30 000 realised that he had been paid fake money.