Two insurance firms and Minibus Owners Association of Malawi (Moam) have partnered in a drive to reduce road accidents by training minibus drivers in defensive driving.
CIC Insurance Company Limited and Hubertus Clausius Insurance Brokers Limited alongside Moam and Road Hazard Managers have written the Directorate of Road Traffic and Safety Services (DRTSS) to provide them with data on minibuses in the country for purposes of planning the initiative.
In the letter dated September 29 2021 jointly signed by representatives of the initiative, namely Malinda Chinyama, Charlie Kamwaza, Pierre Mvalo and Bardon Mbela, the partners said the requested data will also enable proper product policy development.
Reads the letter in part: “We are a project team with the aim of training minibus drivers on defensive skills. The objective is to remove the toxic inherent risks that minibus drivers expose on the roads of Malawi.
“If this toxic risk is managed and removed, minibus accidents will reduce and lower premiums on insurance policies by insurance companies.”
According to the letter, the four parties in the initiative will have numerous roles to play with Road Hazard Managers providing the training of minibus drivers, Moam providing candidate drivers and managing them while the two insurance firms will develop and craft the new minibus insurance policy, house and manage the insurance policy.
DRTSS spokesperson Angellina Makwecha asked for more time to check if the directorate had received the letter, but she said the directorate will provide the requested data.
She said the initiative will go a long way in minimising road accidents in general.
Malawi Police Service data shows that road accidents have gone up by 23 percent with deaths from carnage registering a 12 percent rise.
National Police spokesperson James Kadadzera told our sister paper Nation on Sunday last month that between January and June this year, the country recorded 5 990 accidents against 4 860 registered during the same period last year.
Of this year’s accidents, 636 were fatal and claimed 720 lives, a 12 percent rise from 2020 which recorded 570 fatal road accidents that killed 616 lives.
Kadadzera said sedans, mostly those operating as commuter taxis, were involved in nearly half of the accidents while minibuses came second , accounting for 11 percent of all the accidents.
Road traffic safety specialist Chifwede Hara called on authorities to introduce comprehensive road user education if road accidents are to reduce.